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egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability)
David Marcum and Steven Smith

Retail Price: $16.00
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Format: Paperback, 272pp.
ISBN: 9781416533276
Publisher: Fireside
Pub. Date: September 9, 2008

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

What separates average job holders from top performers? That difference is often chalked up to vision, leadership, talent, execution, or management skill. Before all else, what separates the two is the most pervasive, powerful force in business for good or bad-ego. Injected into every team conversation, boardroom debate, marketing strategy, client interaction, contract negotiation, employment interview, or performance review is the intense, pervasive power of ego.

How we invest it in the way we work, and the return ego delivers to us and the company, depend entirely on the skill with which it's used. The question is: how will we know if we're getting a return? After five years of research, consulting, and teaching, Marcum and Smith's new book, egonomics, breaks new ground with answers.
  • Does our ego drive help, or get in our way?
  • Are there habits we can develop that manage the drive of ego?
  • Should it be managed in the first place?
  • If humility is powerful, why don’t more of us have it?
  • Are ego and humility at odds with each other?
  • If they’re not, what does the right amount of ego look like, sound like, and think like?
  • Can we learn to be humble?
  • If ego and humility can’t co-exist, what has to give, and what change is required?

Egonomics is the result of the answers to those questions. The authors believe these findings can turn ego from a consistent, costly liability to a fixed, appreciating asset. If people know how to use it effectively, the upside of ego is just as powerful as the downside. When we don’t manage the intense power of ego effectively, it damages our strengths and turns them into weaknesses. Through ego’s overconfidence, overambition, insecurity or me-centered agenda, our talents take on a slightly different appearance, but have a noticeably different impact.


"I love this book. From Freud to modern neuroscience, we've been told that it's our ego, the monitor of good and bad judgement and decision-making, that determines our fate and future. This book reveals in depth and originality how to deploy this basic force for self development and for the common good. A book every leader should read."
—Warren Bennis

readers index
Reader's Index 
Send us your favorite quotes or passages from this book.

• “Without a clear understanding of what humility is, it can be seen as a trait best left to special causes and religious leaders, but not business people. If humility seems to be an outdated concept in a fiercely competitive world, it’s because humility is misunderstood, understudied, and underestimated.” Pg.

About the Authors

David Marcum has spent the past ten years exploring how great leaders use ego differently than others—how they work, think, collaborate, and who they are. Marcum’s writing, speaking and business ideas have received acclaim from Stephen Covey, Warren Bennis, and embraced by such client organizations as Accenture, EDS, Microsoft, U.S. Air Force, Sun Health and Discover Card. Dave has vast experience in complex sales and consulting, decision-making and leadership, and his work has been featured by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, CBS Marketwatch and Radio Network, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Canada AM. He is a founding partner of the management training and consulting firm MarcumSmith.

Steven Smith has been featured by Microsoft Live Meeting for two years as leadership faculty, receiving the highest possible ratings. Smith’s writing, speaking and business ideas have received acclaim from Tom Peters, Ram Charan, and embraced by such client organizations as Hilton, Disney, Baptist Health Care, Hard Rock Cafe, Cox Communications, American Express, and State Farm. With degrees in management, psychology and expertise in team collaboration and leadership, Microsoft Live Meeting featured Smith for two years as top leadership faculty. His work has been featured by The Dallas Morning News, The Arizona Republic, The Irish Times, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Le Figaro. He is a founding partner of the management training and consulting firm MarcumSmith.

Table of Contents
Pre-publication Contents
1ego and the bottom line
why managing the power of ego is the first priority of business
2the ego balance sheet
4 early warning signs that ego is costing your company, and the 3 principles of egonomics that turn it around
3early warning sign 1—being comparative
how being too competitive can make us less competitive
4early warning sign 2—being defensive
the difference between defending ideas and being defensive
5early warning sign 3—showcasing brilliance
how intelligence can crowd out wisdom
6early warning sign 4—seeking acceptance
how our desire for respect and recognition gets in our way
humility that opens minds and creates opportunity for change
8humility, part II: intensity and intent
using humility as a bridge to turn silence or argument into vigorous debate
how different types of curiosity unlocks our minds and conversations
how to make the undiscussables discussable, and closing the gap between what we think is going on, and what’s really going on

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