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#5 Respect – Ego – Knowledge

I am sitting at the Vienna airport, waiting for the next flight to Varna (4h layover) and thinking about the past years, my professional managerial past years. About the people I met during this period, about their characters, ways of leading and ways of working, about relationships and about the respect I received (or not) and about the respect from my side to others. Why today? Because today my cycle of international events starts anew and because a few months ago I had to make a big decision “how and where to go next”. After last year’s long, extremely stressful period, I simply had to stop, step away from volleyball and take a concrete look at myself and the current situation. Most people only see my travels and “how I enjoy myself”, but few know the background of this work, the stress and pressures that define it and the toxic relationships that unfortunately show up at every turn. Every job has positives and negatives, including mine.

The world of sports management is heavily infused with politics and behind-the-scenes figures who really pull all the strings. The pressures come down from the top without stopping and the people who are embedded in this world feel it literally on our skin.

International sporting events are quite complex affairs. In addition to what is seen, which is “obvious” even to the likes and to everyone in front of the TV screens, there are much bigger games taking place in the background. All this is understandable, without politics and manipulations there is no sport either (unfortunately), but it is extremely important WHO stands in some intermediate positions. How does a leader find himself in these waters and how does he transfer all the pressure to the other members.

RESPECT plays a key role in this work. ​


EGO = —————————


We all know that Einstein equation, right?

»More the knowledge lesser the ego, lesser the knowledge more the ego.«

If I would give a euro for every situation where this equation turned out to be very true… I’d probably have a very full piggy bank by now 🙂

Why and when do leaders feel threatened? Why do they react with EGO and not with a professional approach? Where along the way do they lose their sense of respect?

Knowledge and ego are directly related. The less knowledge and experience a leader has, the bigger his ego. Ego is NOT the same as self-confidence, self-esteem. Ego causes an overestimation of our own abilities and values, while at the same time it causes an underestimation of knowledge and competence to achieve a certain goal. When a leader loses touch with reality because of their ego, they miss the opportunity to grow, develop, and connect with others, thereby missing the opportunity to achieve goals on a positive note.

Many times people confuse ego with confidence/self-esteem/self-worth.

How to identify whether a leader reacts with ego or with knowledge? The ego reaction is negative; often associated with a disrespectful attitude, self-exposure and self-praise and degradation of others, imposing one’s opinion, challenging the authority of others, personal and offensively oriented, etc.

Whereas the reaction with knowledge/experience is calm, professional, impersonal and constructive.

Why do leaders react with ego? Due to a lack of knowledge in a certain area, due to an inferiority complex, due to a strong need for praise and self-exposure. Reactions on a personal level, unprofessional comments, etc. they are a sign of a weak leader.

The goal will be achieved in any case, but the difference will be huge in “taste”. Achieving a goal on a positive note has a deeper meaning and we carry it with us as a positive experience.

Many times I have met people who were driven by ego. It probably goes without saying that these were pretty negative experiences for me as a result. I noticed that the higher up the pyramid I climbed, the smaller egos I encountered. Interesting isn’t it? Leaders have the biggest problem with ego in the local area, in a small environment where smaller horizons prevail and everyone judges everyone. The wider perspectives and horizons a leader has, the smaller the ego comes into play. There is more self-confidence, self-awareness, self-respect.

Respecting yourself, your knowledge and experience is positive. Knowing how much a person is worth is just as important as being firmly on the ground.

An obvious sign of a strong leader is the way he motivates the people around him. When the leader silences his ego (if it comes to the fore) and thinks more deeply about the specific situation, he will react in a completely human way, calmly and with a lot of will to solve the matter.

Every individual was once at the beginning of his journey. Every individual has the opportunity to grow, learn, develop and upgrade their knowledge and work on personal growth. For a leader, personal growth and professional development are very important. To stay put, to settle for a certain point of comfort is the same as regression, in the world of management.

To maintain a respectful attitude towards fellow human beings, to show gratitude and support to your team, to maintain a professional attitude in the face of challenges, are beautiful qualities of a good and self-confident leader.

Ego is often a barrier to thoughtful leadership. He easily manipulates his own self into thinking that what he wants/demands is for the greater good, but his focus is really solely on himself and his needs/wants.

Ego does not belong in relationships, neither personal nor business. It is important to know how to recognize the power of the ego, which is always negative, and to overcome it. When we free ourselves from this negative factor, we open the way to positive guides that help us grow and develop.

Let’s respect our work and the work of others.

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