Human Performance Leadership & Culture Performance Summit Session | 19.07.18

Summit Session: Ego is the Enemy

Author Ryan Holiday on the fight to master our greatest opponent.


Ryan Holiday

Author: Ego is The Enemy


It’s wrecked the careers of promising young geniuses. It’s evaporated great fortunes and run companies into the ground. It’s made adversity unbearable and turned struggle into shame. Every great philosopher has warned against it, in our most lasting stories and countless works of art, in all culture and all ages. Its name? Ego, and it is the enemy – of ambition, of success and of resilience. We’ll explore how and why ego is such a powerful internal opponent to be guarded against at all stages of our careers and lives.

Key Takeaways

• Everyone can achieve a different level of success, but how is the best way to calculate that? By realising your potential.
• It’s not always enough to just win. There’s a fair amount of luck that coincides with winning at times. To not rely on luck, you should be the best version of yourself that you can.
• You can prepare all you like, but sometimes you’ll feel the opportunity of success slip away. Instead of doing all you can to claw that chance to succeed back into grasp, you should take a step back and understand the principals and values you set out in the first place.
• Ego will stand in the way of what you want, and it will keep you from becoming a master of your craft.
• It will also stop you being creative. It will stop you being a good team player. It will stop you retaining, or sustaining success.
• To truly have a holistic view of what success could look like for you, you need to look at yourself from a distance. Get our of your town head. Detach.
• It’s natural to be invested emotionally in your own work. But if you are, do it with humility, and be self-aware.
• Things will always go wrong. That’s a fact. To guard against this, you have to be proactive and anticipate failure. Control the controllables, and what you can truly control is yourself.