Big is not about a big ego, your title, or even about acquiring large sums of money. Often times we measure our self worth based on how hard we work, the results we achieve in our tasks, how much money we amass, even the car we drive or the house we live in. Other times, we attribute our self worth to how others perceive us or who is proud of us. We put too much emphasis on what others think about us and not enough emphasis on what is true for us internally that is corded to our personal values and beliefs.
So if being BIG is none of the above, then what is BIG? Simply put, being BIG means operating from your most resourceful state of mind, being aligned with your strengths and values, and leading with confidence and in a mood of hope and possibility. Being BIG is all about the old pep in the step, tackling each day with an optimistic lens. In order to be BIG, you must look inward to what you value most.
We can defuse the old myth that all ego is bad; this is simply not true. I struggled with this idea early in my career;, but after a fair amount of self-reflection, I learned that there is such a thing as healthy ego. We shouldn’t hold back because we think our goals may be viewed as unrealistic or selfish. A healthy ego is just the opposite, it’s having confidence in the goals we set even if others may not agree with them.
I once worked with an individual named Carly, a leader in a large retail organization who had there reputation for leading with fear and intimidation. This style came from Carly’s insecurities and her need to look good and get results. Since her way of achieving those results worked, why change? Her ego told her she was the boss and her way was best. Carly’s style led to unsatisfied employees, many who actually ended up leaving under her. After a new division leader was brought in with a radically different approach to leadership, Carly realized she had to change. She had become too focused on achieving results using any means necessary, leading to negative long-term implications. Through coaching, Carly was able to recognize her brashness and unhealthy ego. Instead of barking orders, she decided to step back and listen to what others had to say. The positive feedback from her employees was almost instantaneous; they immediately noticed the change in her personality and reacted accordingly. They felt listened to and valued. The overall morale of the team increased, which lead to even greater results and less micromanaging. Carly learned that being BIG is not the ego of a big head; it’s all about the ego of a BIG heart.