Dual Footprints, Part 4 – Kill the Ego

Dual Footprints is a multi-part blog on becoming a worldclass mentor and this week’s topic is either kill or be killed…by your ego.

A fine line

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and the line is our ego. One definition of ego is “self-esteem or self-image,” and another definition is “egotism; conceit; self-importance.”1 This week I am writing about the latter descriptions and how they are a barrier to growth and a hindrance to the mentoring relationship.

People who are full of themselves, braggadocious, and arrogant are difficult to mentor. Why? Because those character faults create obstacles the mentee must overcome through open, honest, and frank conversations with their mentor.


However, tearing down the wall of egotism and conceit is much easier when the Law of Awareness is practiced which states, “You have to know who you are to grow to your potential. But you have to grow in order to know who you are.”2

How do you accomplish this? By killing conceit and arrogance before those faults destroy you. Once accomplished, the soil is turned over and the seeds of growth and development take root and sprout.

The concept of kill or be killed also applies to the mentor. If the individual is conceited, proud, and egotistic, then they are building a wall that will be difficult for the mentee to overcome. Why? Because the mentor’s attitude will overshadow, intimidate, and ultimately shut down the mentee. Consequently, the mentoring relationship begins and ends on the rocky shores of failure, and possibly kills the mentee’s desire to seek another mentor.

Pride or humility?

In the Bible, Proverbs 11:2 reads, “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.”3 Self-importance, arrogance, conceit, etc., all revolve around pride. Do you want to develop and grow? Then look down the barrel of the machine gun in the picture, kill your pride and egotism, and humble yourself so you can effectively and positively impact the lives of others.

Where do you fall on the pride scale? Is your ego under control or does it burn like a summer wildfire in tall brush? Coaching can help you improve your skills and abilities as a mentor for you to be more effective and impactful in this important role. Contact me at [email protected] and visit my website at www.fireofficerleadershipacademy.com.

1Ego Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

2John C. Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2012), 19

3 Proverbs 11 (NKJV) – When pride comes, then comes (blueletterbible.org)

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