• Executives with egos lack emotional intelligence and common courtesy
  • Huge egos are usually a sign of insecurity and inept leadership
  • Limit your time with narcissistic execs and focus on being awesome
It’s another group department meeting and everyone’s there including several key executives. And, there’s one executive that everybody hates - “Egomaniac Eric”.

At every group meeting, it’s guaranteed that Ego Eric will chime in with several snide comments. Most of the comments have an obvious condescending tone that belittles the recipient while also being self-promoting.

It’s comments like...

“That’s stupid. Why would you do it that way?”

“Your method is totally pointless.”

“Why don’t you ever check yourself?”

“I’ve been in this game for a long time and here’s what you need to do.”

What makes things so fucking frustrating is that you and everyone else on the team can’t move forward on anything unless it gets his approval. It makes it really hard to keep the momentum going.

It’s almost like he revels in review meetings and enjoys putting people through the wringer before deciding whether or not to sign off on it. It’s like a powerplay thing for him. He’s the top asshole at work, hands down.

And of course, if it’s anything related to public presentations, he’s gotta be center stage. He’ll never let anyone else get the limelight.

It’s guys like Eric that make us all wonder why some executives have such huge fucking egos.

What’s Up With Executive Egos?

We all know someone who has an ego the size of China. They are always putting down others for mistakes and at the same time taking credit for any wins in some sly creative way, even if they didn’t contribute shit to the project.

They think that their opinion is the only one that matters, and they feel like they're better than everyone else in some way.

It can be hard to deal with people with outsized egos in normal life, but when it’s at work, it’s so much more of a pain in the ass to deal with because it’s inescapable. So, in order to sort this out, you gotta understand what makes them so narcissistic and rude.

Here are five reasons why your white-collar wanker is an egomaniac. 

1) It’s What Got Them To That Level

Do you remember that one kid in elementary school that was a bully?

Every single grade has got one - even today, this species continues to thrive despite all of our anti-bullying efforts.

Bullies often got what they wanted because of their sheer outlandish and forceful attitude. They don’t care about others. They only care about themselves and what they want.

And, most of the time, their behavior leads to their desired result. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of behavior that continues into adulthood.

So, that egotistical exec or asshole boss at work got to where they are because of their personality and as long as it continues to work for them, they’ll keep doing it.

2) Need To Be Center Of Attention 

According to Sigmund Freud's theory on personality types, one of the most obvious signs that someone is egotistical is that they crave constant attention from others.

This is because their egos need a flow of it at all times for survival and growth. It’s why they're always looking outwards rather than inward when trying to boost their confidence. They should practice gratitude instead.

In a lot of cases, these kinds of execs may have an outward appearance of being confident, but deep down, they actually have fragile self-esteem.

To make up for this, they need a constant flow of admiration from others at work because their overblown egos will break if they don't have anything to keep up appearances and fulfill their self-serving status. 

3) Must Show Off Their Importance 

Showing off is a learned behavior that executives need to do in order to maintain their facade in the organization. Some executives really need to show off because they don’t have the chops to do their job and also because their true inner self is so weak.

In this study from the Journal of Sociological Theory, insecure people in high positions tend to flex their status more to emphasize their rank and power in the organization. This leads to all sorts of angst among employees in the workplace.

They do this because they need to constantly broadcast their importance and value to the company in order not to feel like a failure on any given day.

This is why many self-serving shallow leaders will endlessly boast about what great things they accomplished without ever considering how all of that boasting makes them look like total douchebags. 

4) Compensate For Other Weaknesses Or Insecurities

Egotistical execs have big personalities because they need to make up for their various weaknesses and insecurities. They want to show flawless authority. They don't want others to see the truth - their vulnerabilities.

You know this.

It’s that fucking clueless executive that boasts that their time is too valuable to be putting together a Powerpoint deck. When in reality, they wouldn’t even know how to format the background of a slide - for real.

They’re only responsible for “high-level strategic planning” (ahem, cyberloafing?) and push down all the real work to their subordinates.

When was the last time you actually saw an executive work through excel formulas?

Yeah, us too.

5) Must Maintain Their Position In The Organization 

Have you ever reached any kind of preferred status in travel?

You know the kind. It’s the “Ultra Platinum” level of the hotel program or the “Monarch Elite” of an airline.

You get all sorts of additional bennies and kick-ass perks that normal customers don’t get. But, the big thing is that you automatically get more respect and special treatment that’s exclusive to your level.

This same principle also applies to execs with egos.

Egotistical executives are constantly driven to maintain their status and executive position in the organization. They crave the automatic recognition and respect that the title provides them.

It projects an air of importance that many others in the organization will bow down to and never question. It feeds their ego perfectly. And so, they will do anything and everything in their power to stay at this level or climb even higher.

Meanwhile, you’re busting your ass day in and day out yet you’re not getting the fucking recognition you deserve.

How To Deal With Egotistical Executives

In many cases, you can’t avoid executive egomaniacs at work. Pretty much every single organization has one. And, since most key decisions on projects have to be reviewed by them, you’ll inevitably have to work with them at some point.

Let’s be very clear here. You can’t change their behavior or personality into a true servant leader type. It’s not core to their beliefs.

Even just considering the possibility is a waste of time. So, don’t. Otherwise, you’ll just lose your shit.

The best thing you can do is to learn how to deal with them in a way that will make your office life easier and will keep your sanity intact.

Here are some quick tips.

1) Don't Let Them Get Under Your Skin

There’s nothing more rewarding for execs with egos than knowing that they “won” and made you cower back into a corner. It’s a power thing.

One of the most important things for working with an egomaniac is learning how not to take what they say personally - ever. They’re usually so wrapped up in themselves that they don't give a shit about what you think or feel.

If they don't like something you've said or done, it's not because there's anything wrong with YOU. It's just because that dickhead can’t accept other people’s ideas, perspectives and/or contributions.

They only see things one way - their way. And, if they get you to comply or get you pissed off about it, they’ve won either way.

You may not have a choice or any input in their decisions and thought processes but you do have the power to not let their actions get to you.

When you don’t take their statements personally, you’re not letting them win. When their condescending comments have little impact on you, they’ll get frustrated and you’ll just go about your day.

2) Don't Agree With Everything They Say

These kinds of execs are always striving to keep “command-n-control” of the troops. They only want “yes” people reporting to them because it will give them the authority they need.

You’ve been in some of these stupid meetings where their comments, ideas, suggestions etc. are absolutely baffling. None of them make any sense.

Now, if you’ve got the courage to call them out on it and shoot them down, well...kudos to you. Most of us don’t have the balls to do that.

In these cases, rather than just agreeing with every single thing they say, provide an alternative point of view, even if they won’t acknowledge it. Or, just don’t say anything at all and look over at your work BFF and shake your head subtly.

If they are clearly wrong on something and you’ve got accurate facts and/or data to prove that you’re right, then you have to tactfully counter them in a way that doesn’t blatantly point that they’re wrong.

Instead, present the information and ask them to review it. This is a sly way of aligning them to your position.

3) Avoid Being Alone With Them

You’ve heard the saying, “There’s strength in numbers”, right?

Well, it definitely applies here.

Minimize the amount of time that you spent with them alone in one-on-one type settings. They’ll simply overpower you.

When you’ve got other coworkers with you, they’ll help to absorb some of the pressure and bullshit. They can even help defend your thoughts and ideas.

Even if you can bring in just one additional team member into the meeting for support, it will go a long way. You can tell them that you invited them for “additional coverage”.

You know the one team member that is more assertive than you that isn’t a push-over?

Get them to join and their confidence will rub off on you.

Afterward, the both of you can vent to let it all out.

4) Use Your Manager As A Buffer 

Sometimes, being at the lower levels of an organization is a good thing. Usually, there’s less bullshit to deal with. As you move up in the org, the expectations and demands grow. This is why being in middle management sucks at times.

So, as long as you’re not reporting directly to the “empty suit” with the ego, you can use the corporate bureaucracy and structure to your advantage.

Use your manager as a buffer. This is key.

Part of your manager’s responsibility is to manage upward and provide some shielding for you so that you can focus on getting the grunt work done for them.

They should be the ones that are directly interfacing with Big Head Bob anyways. This way, you can shift the exposure to your supervisor. It’s partly why they’re getting paid more than you. 😉

Let them deal with this bullshit.

5) Keep Your Cool And Speak More Assertively

When an egotistical executive, sees that they’ve successfully pissed you off or made you curl up and whimper, they get off on it. They now know what buttons to push on you to break you.

It's important not to be a weak-ass chump or else they’ll just steamroll you all of the time. But, you don’t need to go to the extreme and turn into an egomaniac like them - that won’t work because you’ll be playing their game. And you won’t win.

You need to take a different approach. This is part of office politics.

You have to show rock-solid professionalism by keeping your cool no matter what kind of bullshit they throw at you. And, they’ll throw all sorts of bullshit at you so that they can find what will trigger you.

When none of their tactics works and they can’t get the reaction they’re looking for, they’ve lost and you’ve won. This will really boost your personal brand in the org.

The other half of this is that you need to speak more assertively. And we don’t mean that you need to pull an Elizabeth Holmes (infamous Theranos CEO) and put on a fake authoritative voice.

You can do this with two simple actions.

First, maintain eye contact when you’re talking with them. Looking down and/or away to the side is a submissive movement. Look them straight in the eyes while you’re talking to them.

Second, when you do talk, avoid the “umms and ahhs” to fill empty pauses. Just be silent and think through whatever it is that you need to work out. No need to say anything. Silence is powerful here.

Ignore Executive Egomaniacs & Focus On Being Awesome

Spending any amount of time with the “Ego Erics” of the office world is not going to do anything good for you. It’ll just make managing work stress harder than it needs to be.

Only put in your required time with them when it’s unavoidable. Beyond that, stay away as best as you can. The less time you spend with them, the less exposure you’ll get to their bullshit.

Put them in your rearview mirror, get in the zone, get shit done and be the uber-productive star that you are.

Be confident in yourself and what you bring to the table - don't let anyone make you feel like less than what you really are!

Remember, you rock!

Feel Better,

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