An Essence Of Great Leaders – Part 2

by Patrick Liew on April 20, 2017

As I dived deeper into the workings of the leader’s heart, I made a scary discovery. A dark and horror one.

There is a monster living in each and every one of us.

It is our biggest enemy – the ego.

Left unrestrained, it can cause relationships to break down. It can affect your performance and results and eventually destroy your life.

The ego is an over-consciousness of your being and is an unhealthy attachment. It has a tendency to make you feel bigger and better than the others.

In reality, it is a cover up of your fears, inadequacies and insecurities. That’s why, it tends to be critical and judgmental and is inclined to make others inferior to yourself.

The ego seeks to own and dominate others. It wants to control every situation and outcome.

While manifesting pride and arrogance on the surface, deep within, it desires to be accepted and approved.

Paradoxically, it tends to hurt others while getting hurt easily.

The ego is not your true self. It lives in a false reality and views the world from an ethnocentric perspective.

It is self-conscious and self-centered. At every given opportunity, it is self-glorifying and seek it’s self-interest.

By doing that, it blinds you to your weaknesses. It makes you live in a world of your own make beliefs.

Unfortunately, if the ego makes you so full of yourself, you are actually shortchanging yourself.

You become smaller than what you really are, living in a world that has been shrunk by your self-absorbed mind.

It shuts you from the truths and prevents you from seeking the correct path to a better future. It competes with your heart that wants to serve a higher calling and fulfil a worthwhile cause.

The ego needs to be fed but it will never be satisfied. In fact, it will become hungrier and will grow until it becomes bigger than you.

Gradually, it will devour you.

The conflicting truth about the ego is that you cannot control it without being controlled by it. You cannot manage it unless you replace it with a far more compelling driver and purpose.

You need to harness and channel the good in you and drive it in the right direction and towards the right aspirations.

Along the way, you need to continue to discipline yourself from feeding the ego. You must prevent it from rearing it’s ugly head even for the slightest moment.

You need to consciously detach yourself from the ego.

In fact, you should run away from whatever will lead you to self-indulgence, over-confidence and vainglory. They are distant cousins of the ego.

The best way to subdue the ego is to submit it to the leading of our Creator.

If our Creator has no part in your life, the ego will take over the divine throne and the centre of gravity in your life.

Obviously, if you tap on human intelligence, you can only achieve what a human can do. However, when you tap on Infinite Wisdom, you will open yourself to unlimited possibilities and achievements.

When you allow the Higher Self to lovingly guide you, you will learn to be mindful of fulfilling a high purpose and a worthy cause.

Over time, He will replace and control the ego with a set of positive mission and values.

You will learn to be sensitive to others and serve them. At the end of the day, you will learn to achieve and sustain a win-win relationship and outcome.

You move from being me-centric to being others-centric and from focusing on your self interests to the other party’s interests.

You work towards achieving a greater good for humanity than for your own self good.

On the journey of life, a winner wears humility on both his heart and his dispositions. He is not defined by accolades, acquisitions and achievements. He is defined by something bigger as a child of God.

He recognises that if he over-dwells on the challenges internally, he will not be able to manage the challenges externally. If he overly-focuses on what’s inside him, he will not be able to capitalise on the opportunities outside.

While he loves himself, he will never allow his self-love to hold him back from loving others. He accepts his weaknesses but that will not stop him from helping others to achieve greater successes than his own.

It bodes well to remember that the ego trip is a trip to destruction. You need to take the high and selfless road to success.

As I meditated over these principles during the bootcamp, I wonder how they can be taught to others. I came to the conclusion that they could not be taught but caught.

That’s when I decided to reenact a ritual from the Lord Jesus Christ. I decided to wash the feet of the leaders and the participants at the end of the bootcamp.

It was one of the most powerful experiences on my learning journey. All over the room, many participants were in tears.

Many, including my manager discovered what we have lost. We returned back to what we were designed for – to put others before self and to love and serve others.

It was another turning point in my life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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