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Check the Ego

Ego is defined as a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Checking one's ego is a term that is used plenty of times in this chapter. While not explicitly defined, the author does state that “Ego can prevent a leader from conducting an honest, realistic assessment of his or her own performance and the performance of the team”. When combined with their definition of extreme ownership; you must own problems along with solutions, checking your ego can be viewed as remaining humble while owning mistakes. It would be easy to imagine that Navy SEALS, arguably the elite military force, all have an ego that is larger than most. Being the best of the best can have its disadvantages. Chapter four discusses the confident and sometimes cocky nature of the SEALS and how they have to integrate themselves into the larger contingent of Army/Marine and Iraqi soldiers for all to be effective. The SEAL commander recognized this and instilled a culture within his team of never being satisfied. He also spoke of the importance of an “attitude of humility and mutual respect” between the SEALS, Army, Marines, and Iraqi soldiers.


Never arrive is a saying, my good friend, Michael Snell, speaks of often. Education is a dynamic institution. There are constants; students, teachers, curriculum, classrooms, etc. have all been in place since the birth of the public school in the early 1600s. But, if you look closer at each of these constants, they have changed, and are continuing to change. Simply put, the only constant in education is change. The challenge is to embrace the change. In order to do that, we must also change. We must be constantly looking for ways to improve. Many throw around the term life-long-learner, but how many actually act in that fashion? If we are not actively growing professionally, could our egos be the problem? To those who refuse to grow, do they feel as if they arrived? Just as the commander realized and worked on a culture of never being satisfied, is this the same idea school leaders need to implement? Just as we want our students to grow on a daily basis, our staff should also be experiencing growth. The only way to have sustained success in a school is to have a staff that continues to embrace growth. We should never arrive.


I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Thanks for reading!

Erik Bentzel

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© 2019 by Erik Bentzel. 

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