“Sir, Your Ego is in the Way…”

I’m sitting with my friend at a local café one Thursday evening (Thursday is the last working day of the week in the Middle East). We were enjoying warm labne and vegetable wraps and talking about how our weeks had gone when she suddenly says to me,

“I sat in on a meeting today and heard the most shocking thing ever. It’s so shocking that I think it’s kind of funny…”

“I’m not interested in hearing it” I reply and we continue eating then leave.

No, no I’m just kidding.

I’m serious it was a joke, there’s no need to block me.

Anyway, I asked her what it was and here’s what she said:

“Our company and it’s largest competitor are losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and the simple solution to that problem is to merge one of our projects together..and so during the meeting, I stupidly asked why we didn’t do that and EVERYONE just turned and stared at me like I had asked them to sprout wings and fly to Coachella…

…so there’s like thirty seconds of silence and nobody seems like they want to speak and I’m just sitting there like an idiot before one of the managers suddenly changes the subject.

So after the meeting I ran to an employee I trusted and asked what was wrong with what I had said and he told me about the apparently well known CEO-dispute that nobody dared talk about…

One day, two decades ago, the highly successful and conceited CEO of our company and the severely stuck up and monetarily loaded CEO of the other company sat down for a meeting. Legend has it that each man took a single chair each while both their egos took six of their own. A minor conflict arose and like very rational men they immediately got into a fight. One CEO not only threatened to take the other to court but assured him that he wouldn’t see a dime of the winnings until long after he retired…to his grave. The other CEO insisted that he would gladly rise from that grave to collect it once he won, which he most definitely will. Saliva was flung and mothers were cursed and twenty years later neither one will back down, hence the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted!”

“Egos I swear” I shake my head and she nods.

Then I got to thinking (which is dangerous, I know)… But I too have been at times guilty of the over-inflated-ego and that many of my relationships would still be, what’s the word? Oh yeah….alive….had it not been for my (or at times, their) ego.

Then I thought even harder …

Could I have accidentally stumbled on the secret to world peace over innocent labne wraps? Should I call the Nobel judges? Or take it above them to Oprah?

(See I told you it was never a good thing for me to think)

But seriously, imagine a world where our egos played no role in our actions or words! Think back to your last three major decisions or conflicts. How big of a role did ego play in them?

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