Strategy — When Egos and Logic Collide…

So, a colleague of mine was preparing for a 2-day strategy session…

Never mind that I really dislike these two/three-day “events” disguised as strategic thinking and envisioning.

This colleague, like many consultants, was gearing up for the contest that was to come… the inevitable clash between monumental egos and the logic and foresight necessary to grow a business. My advice to her lament? I said:

May the force be with you. My experience tells me that if we can connect logic & smarts with their executive-level egos, then success is nigh…

Cool advice I thought. But more importantly, it got me thinking… is ego an advantage or a hindrance when crafting real organizational strategy? Hmmmm…

Here’s my take: yes, I both need — and want — those executive egos operating at capacity when crafting strategy and navigating the envisioning process.

There’s an adage I hear repeated frequently by someone I consider a whole lot smarter than I. “Appeal to their enlightened self-interest.” In other words, let those executive-level egos work in the organization’s favor; they’ve been successful for that executive, why wouldn’t they be good for the business as a whole if properly channeled?

So, I say unleash the hounds… or in this case, …the egos. Allow those participating in the strategy ‘session’ to personalize and internalize the process. Buy into the results because they are good for “me,” as well as the company. Argue for things that will make their domain bigger, better, stronger, faster, because that will inevitably score points for the business.

In other words, allow those executives the opportunity to make corporate strategy their personal strategy. Sounds like a win-win.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann


  1. says

    Great blog! I agree that ego is a necessity. The only thing I would add is that it can't be blind ego! If it is, the train could be headed for a collision with failure. Blind ego tends to lend itself to exclusive thought, not well thought out and tested strategy!

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