A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

Lao Tzu

The secret to leading most effectively, starts with ego.

If your ego is healthy and secure, it has almost no place in the category of leadership. It is one thing to be very self-confident and proud of every aspect of whom you are and what you personally have accomplished, but it is another thing to wield that information inappropriately.

If you are incredibly comfortable with your own place within the infrastructure that you have generated, your strongest move is to quiet every combination of communication on this topic.

Having spent 4 1/2 decades working within the Hollywood infrastructures, you can presume we have encountered more than our share of egos which were completely out of balance. Watching these fragile characters strut their prominence with various degrees of arrogance, paired with insecurity, has been a spectacular lesson from which to draw our own personal growth. When we listen to someone of that particular ilk, we are more prone to hear a lot of the word, “I,“ than we are to hear the word, “we.“

The choice to run the Illusion Factory, IllusionQuest Studios, and Sizzle as ego-free environments, has been one of the most advantageous, strategic choices of my career. We take credit for this, because it was a conscious decision that we made at the outset of the company. The recognition that we are only going to be as strong as the weakest person on our team, necessitates the requirement that every person, starting with me, must check their ego at the door. It is our opinion that the consequential results have been exemplary, as evidenced through the incredible teamwork that has arisen in its wake.

The feedback that we have been fortunate to receive through employees and collaborators on this topic, has continually reinforced our desire to ensure that this is always going to be company policy, starting in the hiring screenings and continuing through how our management teams engage with everybody with whom they work.

I work as hard as possible to be the dumbest person in the company. I always have. If you can divorce your ego from the majority of business decisions, you can attract the most intelligent collaborators in the world. It doesn’t really require a lot of thought, because in making this choice, all you are doing is recognizing that an incredibly intelligent human being requires respect, latitude, understanding and occasionally, a little guidance.

After that, it is wise to reflect on what General George S. Patton said on the topic: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

Being a great leader has many parallels to being a great parent. There are times when your authoritarian rule is required, but in almost all circumstances, it is far wiser to just be a great source of inspiration and a wonderful, compassionate coach who truly holds the appreciation deep within their heart, for those whom they are watching out for.

If you can see your role through this filter and genuinely behave accordingly, the opportunities surrounding you are genuinely limitless.

Happy Sunday!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!