Here’s today’s tip: There is no greater enemy to your campaign than your own ego.
If you’re running for office, you’ve probably got a pretty healthy ego. Otherwise you wouldn’t be telling everybody that you’re the best possible option for the job. While ego rightfully carries a negative connotation, it’s an important part of each of us and when kept in check, can be a positive force.
But good lord I’ve seen it wreck campaigns. You’ve probably thought of several examples since I started talking from times you’ve seen a person’s ego lead to failure. Jobs, marriages, children, friendships. Every facet of our lives can be compromised if our ego gets out of control.
When you run for office, so many of your normal ego-checks are no longer in place. At least they’re often less effective. Your best friend may have always been able to pull you back when you were getting to full of yourself. But now that you’re a candidate, it’s easier for the devil on your shoulder to tell you, “He just doesn’t understand campaigns.” Or, “He’s just getting jealous of all the attention I’m getting and the cool title I’m fixing to have.”
I totally understand if you’re listening and saying, “No, Raz, that’s not going to happen to me.” But even that reaction is an example of your ego getting in the way of learning.
The only way to keep yourself in check is through practiced humility and a strong system of accountability. You need to make humility part of your daily life and ensure that you’re surrounded by people who can call you out and get your attention. People who can pop the bubble.
This lesson is closely tied to the one we discussed in Episode 9: Never be too busy to listen.
You may win a campaign in spite of losing control over your ego, but you’ll just be getting further down a dark path. At all cost, control your ego. Uncontrolled, it is your worst enemy.