August 18, 2023
OOH Sales Blog

OOH Leadership: Check Your Ego At the Door

In a coaching session with an OOH client recently, I shared a story about a speech I delivered years ago at a large charity luncheon attended by over 2500 people and covered by every TV and radio station, as well as print media in the town. With just 10 minutes to prepare, I needed to step in as a last-minute keynote speaker for a 20-minute talk. No problem!

With such limited time to get ready, the chosen topic had to be just right. It needed to be something I was passionate about and that would resonate with the audience in the context of the charity. Considering the room was filled with business leaders and senior executives whose success was envied by many in our city, I settled on the theme: ‘No matter what degree of success anyone has, no one gets there alone’.  We all had help in some form or fashion over the years that paved the way for that success.

In thinking about that conversation, I’m reminded of the danger all of us need to be wary of… getting too caught up in our own success,believing our own press clippings. Forgetting that “no one gets or stays there on their own”.  It can be easy to slip into this mindset, particularly after years of success. Being impressed with our own achievements might not be something to boast about, but why is it a problem?

OOH Leaders should be diligent in warding off the risk of insularity that accompanies being an owner or holding a senior position. The higher your rank, the greater the chance you may develop an inflated ego. As the ego enlarges, the risk grows of becoming isolated, losing connection with your team, and eventually your customers.

As someone in a senior leadership position, we gain more influence. This means people are more inclined to please us by listening more intently, agreeing readily, and even laughing at our jokes. All these actions can feed our ego, causing it to grow.

A bloated ego creates vulnerability for manipulation by others. If we subconsciously seek positive affirmation, it can render us predictable and susceptible to being led into decisions that harm ourselves, our team, and our organization.

When we believe we’re the sole architects of our success, it can lead to being more rude, selfish behaviors, and a propensity to interrupt others. This attitude is particularly evident when faced with criticism or setbacks. An overgrown ego can obstruct our ability to learn from mistakes and hamper our appreciation of lessons derived from failure.

Perhaps most damaging is that a large ego constantly searches for information that aligns with its beliefs. Essentially, an inflated ego can cause a strong confirmation bias. Consequently, we may lose perspective and find ourselves in a leadership bubble, where we only perceive and hear what we want, losing touch with the people we lead and ultimately our clients and land leaseholders.

A couple of strategies to dodge the ego pitfall include:

• Engaging with people who won’t merely flatter your ego.Employ intelligent people confident enough to voice their thoughts.

• Implementing a daily reflection on all those who helped make you successful that day.

Leadership is all about people. If we let our egos determine what we see, hear, and believe, we risk allowing past achievements to undermine future success.

Need help with sales skills or coaching to take your out of home company to the next level.  Learn more about OOH Sales Mastery at  or Contact Dan Nausley at, 423.702.5579.  

Lisa & Dan Nausley of Sandler Chattanooga have developed the OOH Sales Mastery Program after more than a decade of training/coaching scores of OOH Operators across the country in sales, leadership, and executive coaching.

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