Author – Mary Gregory
Book discussed – 20 April 2021
Review by – Lisa Preuveneers
Gregory’s background as an executive coach came through very strongly in the book; this was particularly interesting as many of our group operate as executive coaches. A whole chapter is devoted to how coaching helps interpersonal relationships, as participants become aware of the role their own ego plays and the need to ‘get over themselves’.
Firstly you need to, ‘know thyself’; as you work through the set scenarios, the reality checks, the exercises and the reflection sections of each chapter, the nature of your own ego is teased out. It may come as shock to learn just how much your own, over or under, inflated ego is holding you back!
The book presents frameworks for self-discovery and how these may be used to counter (and play) other people’s mind games. It draws heavily on the – still very relevant today – “I’m OK – You’re OK” transactional analysis framework of Parent-Adult-Child developed in the 1960’s by Thomas Harris MD. The book re-engineers the ‘Dramatic Triangle’ of Rescuer – victim — Persecutor to become the ‘Authentic Triangle’ of curious – coach – chooser,
I see this very much as a self-help book for the aspiring leader to develop positive and productive working relationships. Also, as a helpful reminder to the established leader as he or she, not only becomes aware of their own ego, but considers how a collection of egos can morph into organisational ego, creating either a toxic or enabling culture.
The final chapter demonstrates the way in which ego affects an organisation’s culture, and sets the tone for the collective behaviour of all stakeholders. A useful tool is the exercise provided to observe the various cultural norms at play in organisations and the resulting dynamics that can affect performance. How leaders embrace change and take responsibility is core to making any change happen.
If it is your job to persuade others to do things differently, this book is definitely for you.