The ego is one of the biggest barriers to success. Particularly for leaders who rely on confidence, conviction and self-assurance for effectiveness, an overactive ego can destroy collaborative effort, erode trust and weaken morale faster than almost anything else. Balancing self-confidence and humility while avoiding arrogance is the mark of a true leader. Accepting Responsibility Versus Giving Blame Despite our best efforts, things go wrong, there’s no denying. And when they do, whether it’s in the office or in the larger world around us, the tendency is to blame those in charge. “If he paid more attention” or “If she only had a better handle on things” then this or that would never have happened. In reality, there are always other variables to consider in any event – and leaders who accept responsibility are that much closer to getting past the issue and moving on. In some cases, assigning blame is necessary for accountability, but finger pointing and shifting responsibility is never the answer. Giving Credit Versus Taking Credit True leaders understand the value in giving credit for a job well done. Acknowledging when someone does something well is an easy way to build confidence and encourage desired behavior. It feels good to be told you did a good job, and giving credit where it’s due inspires others to do their best work. Besides, affirmation and acknowledgement foster trust and promote accountability. When employees see that leadership is aware and recognizes when they do well, a partnership mentality develops where group effort and collaboration thrive. Avoiding Missed Opportunities While leadership effectiveness demands a certain amount of technical expertise and know-how, the process is ongoing and there’s never a point in time when any leader has learned everything there is to know. Great leaders perceive their role as a journey, not an event. They embrace opportunities to improve and develop their skills. Building connections with people is much more than barking orders or even giving advice. Extraordinary leaders get beyond expertise and impact those they work with on a personal and professional level. It’s about helping others by giving back by sharing wisdom with others to support, encourage and inspire. Strong, confident leadership does not imply arrogance. The most effective leaders have learned the art of balancing self-assurance with listening skills, patience, and continuous learning and development.