Beal: Ego or Spirit

As we have seen, the givers that Wharton school of business professor Adam Grant identified, can be very successful. They can’t be dismissed as just “happy hippies”. They are people who seem to operate from a different, positive mindset.

Coach and consultant Danna Beal, in her book The extraordinary workplace, contrasts ego-driven leaders with enlightened leaders who bring their authentic self to work. You can recognize enlightened leaders by their humility (they believe: people are equal), integrity, compassion, trust (that helps to release others’ potential), patience, acceptance, courage (to do what’s right) and vision (of a more positive future).

These virtues were attributed to saints in the past. You don’t expect these words in a business context – which indicates they come from a new mental map for the workplace.

What do you value?

When you describe business leaders, what words would you use? What do you value? What adjectives do your co-workers use when they describe the CEO or other executives?
Thinking of your workplace which of the attitudes and behaviors listed below do you observe?


feel superior
controls outcomes and people
needs to be right
creates enemies
wants admiration


accepts anyone the way they are
expresses freely
is responsible
can be wrong
inner security
draws respect, listens

When you look around in your reality, what do you see? Click To Tweet

Of course, the above lists are polarizations. But when you look around in your reality, what do you see? Many people display a mix of these behaviors. Many of us strive to become our best selves and be authentic leaders guided by “spirit”. But we also need our ego at times – and you might recognize some of those behaviors as well.

This is book post #24 – ME

Here‘s the earlier post
Here‘s the next post

If you’re confused – please start with post #1 or check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.

Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.

I’m blogging my next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” Your feedback is appreciated!

You can help me by liking, sharing, and commenting.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Steve Edwards

    The great divide is about the best way I know to describe the gap between management and the rank-and-file. Having spent several years in the manufacturing world, before shifting over to the business world I have seen and experienced this gulf in dramatic ways. It has always broken my heart to see the way the front-line workers have been treated. It is my sincere hope, as more and more enlightened people enter the workplace, we will see the gap begin to narrow and all workers be treated fairly and equally. Keep up the great work and please keep writing. Thank you.

    1. Marcella Bremer

      Yes, Steve, many people are working to bridge that gap…! The times they are ‘a changin’ !

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