Coat Hook Leads to Infinite Success: Check Your Ego at the Door

These days, we’re all about improving our company culture, and Infusionsoft is a company we admire for that very reason. Infusionsoft was created for one thing and one thing only: to help small businesses. Their software, services, and educational content “help small businesses grow sales and save time.” But they’re more than just an email marketing service—they’re a leader in the world of corporate culture. And they’re taking that world by storm.

When you walk into Infusionsoft headquarters, the first thing you see is an empty coat hook with a tag marked “ego” dangling unassumingly from the peg.

To the casual observer, the coat hook is nothing more than just that, a place to hang a coat. But to Infusionsoft employees, that same coat hook is a reminder to give credit where credit is due, to own up to mistakes, and to check their egos at the door. We may not have a literal coat hook, but employees here at The Newsletter Pro understand the importance of checking their ego; in fact, it’s become an integral and irrefutable part of our company’s culture to “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Why? Well, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, two in five CEOs will fail within the first 18 months on the job, and one third of chief executives will never cross the three-year checkpoint.

Those who do manage to succeed have at least one thing in common: the ability to check their egos at the door.

These leaders are grounded, in-touch, and open to new ideas. Because of that, their employees feel valued, motivated, and heard. Their businesses tend to flourish with communication, collaboration, and fresh ideas. All thanks to leaving their egos where they belong—outside.

On the other hand, those who are unable to relinquish their own self-righteousness tend to face problems with employee disengagement, low morale, and high turnover—resulting in the inevitable failure of the business.

In fact, a recent Fox Business article stated that it has never been more critical for business leaders to check their egos than it is right now.

In early 2014, a MetLife study discovered that nearly one third of employees hoped to find a new job before the year was up—and a similar study conducted by Gallup reported that staggering 70 percent of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work.

Could ego be to blame? Have you ever stopped to think about how your own actions could be perceived as “ego?” And how that ego could be hurting your company?

If you want to see real success in 2015, it’s time to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

But, what exactly does that mean?

In short, it means celebrating successes as a team—not as individual bragging rights. It means allowing anyone and everyone to contribute to a project or conversation. And it means acknowledging that you aren’t the master of the universe. It means being honest with yourself about your own strengths and weaknesses and always being willing to learn new things, or new ideas. Above all, it means channeling your energy into making your business the best it can be, rather than pursuing approval or control.

Here at The Newsletter Pro, we foster open collaboration in a multitude of ways—namely through our quarterly priorities and SMARTs. Diverse teams work together to accomplish goals and generate new ideas, from project managers to writers, to graphic designers. We encourage team members from different departments to submit their two-cents then use the outsider perspective to challenge new ideas and engage in healthy debate. We may not have an empty coat hook on which to hang our egos, but that’s because our egos never make it as far as the front door.


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