When I was presenting the Dynamic of Authority at a National Sheriff’s Association Conference a few years back, I had said that our ego (pride) can be one of our worst enemies in a crisis and set us on that most dangerous Path of Destruction. One of the sheriffs in the audience challenged me on this. He said he considered his ego as his most valuable weapon when on the street. When I tried to explain that pride and ego can get in the way of accomplishing the police mission, and that although we represent any number of authorities, the one thing we do not “officially” represent is ourselves, he got up, gathered his things and left the room.
It can be a difficult teaching to accept because it goes against our human nature to a degree. I’m glad that our Founders, like Ben Franklin, were able to put their egos aside as they built the greatest nation on the planet.