Does Your Boss’s Ego Hurt Your Career?

Ego Boss blog

If bosses don’t forgo their own ego, they risk losing good talent

Every manager wants to hire the best and brightest—well, MOST do, at least.

Some managers want to hire the best and the brightest—but only if they are not better or brighter than themselves.

Does your boss have an overinflated ego?  Is it getting in the way of your personal career growth?

Ego- it’s the “I” or self of any person, a person as thinking, feeling, and distinguishing themselves from the selves of others (  When a company is running smoothly, the company’s goals should trump any one person’s individual ego—even if this means that an employee outshines a boss here and there, or a young new hire skips a rung on her career ladder.

But some bosses make every employee contribution or idea all about themselves.  If you have a boss whose ego is simply so big that he or she gets in the way of your career growth, you have to decide whether to sidestep around this or leave your job.

Recognizing Signs of an Egocentric Boss

How do you know if your boss is egocentric?

  • Your boss only thinks of his or her own agenda over that of the company.
  • Your boss takes credit for others’ ideas as his own.
  • Your boss discredits your good idea in favor of his or her own lesser idea.
  • Your boss does not praise you or others often.
  • Your boss is unable to think of things from someone else’s point of view.
  • Your boss has narcissistic qualities.

How to Best Interact with an Egocentric Boss

An egocentric boss thrives on constant validation.  If you aren’t willing to feed that validation, it may be best to have as little interaction as possible. Lolly Dascal says in Inc., “A narcissistic boss has a constant need to be admired by others. So refuse to feed the beast. It’s good to understand that bad behavior comes from insecurity and that the more your narcissistic boss acts out, the more insecure they are. But it’s just as important to remember that the more you feed the bad behavior the worse it will become.”

So, Instead of relying on your boss for praise, keep a paper trail for yourself of your own accomplishments.  Use your time to form relationships with other people in the office.  Separate your contributions from your boss’s, so as not to outshine your boss publically.  Stick to the facts and focus on company goals.

You’ll also need to take care of yourself.  Don’t let your egocentric boss get you down.  Recognize and value your good qualities.  Sometimes simply accepting the fact that your boss has egotistical tendencies helps you deal with the behaviors.

If you Decide to Leave

Maybe you’ve dealt with your egotistical boss for years and have had enough.  Perhaps you would have gotten that promotion if your boss was able to support you differently.  If your boss’s ego is truly damaging your career growth, you may have no choice but to leave.

Try to leave on good terms.  When approaching your egotistical boss with your decision to leave, it may be hard to avoid mentioning the true reason you are leaving, but focus on the facts of your next opportunity.  You’ll want to continue to have him or her as a reference.

Whether or not now is the right time for you to consider a career change, perhaps it is the time to step back and evaluate your career values. Are you brave enough to make a career change?

Learn from your Past

Before accepting your next job, find out how employees are evaluated and promoted.  Is it based solely on the manager’s review or is there an unbiased system based on data?  Choose a company with a clear policy and system for promotion that is objective, not subjective.

Artemis Consultants can help you find a manager who will forgo their own ego and best support your career goals.  Please visit our website for more information on our specialized recruiting services.

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