Why do some people with outstanding skills and talent in their profession fall short of becoming a role model for others? I bring up this question as I watch another “premier” NFL player, Antonio Brown, come off the tracks in a myriad of bad behavior. He has been a perennial leader in wide receiver stats and performance for the past decade. Yet, somehow he has imploded over the past two seasons with allegations of criminal offenses and constant riffs with the NFL and his teams. How does someone at the top of their profession fall to such depths? This doesn’t only happen to athletes. We all see examples of these individuals in our workplace and daily experiences. I contend these people lose their way to greatness because they are unable to keep their ego in check. Hubris has been the downfall of humankind since the beginning of time. When serving self becomes a higher priority than serving your family, neighbors and community, a person’s life becomes self-centered and out of balance. They live only for themselves and make very poor decisions in the quest to satisfy their desires. We all have been guilty of this human pitfall at some point in our lives. But there are key choices you can make to set yourself up for success. Here’s a formula that will keep you humble, credible and approachable:
1. Maintain close relationships with your family members;
2. Surround yourself with friends with ethical behavior and redeeming life-goals;
3. Choose mentors who will provide you with constructive and honest feedback;
4. Cultivate and feed your spiritual life;
5. Constantly evaluate your participation in your workplace and community.
Take a look around at the people you admire most. I guarantee these individuals have their ego in-check by following this simple formula to greatness.