Is Your Managerial Ego Too Big?

Overlords of their own fiefdoms and overseers of inflated budgets and staffs, these type of managers can kill your company. Here's what every leader needs to know to take down the takeover artists.
Source: Illustration Š The Ispot.com/Brian Stauffer

Principalities are great for stamp collectors. They are less appealing when they exist inside your company, thanks to the manager or staffer who has built his or her own private Luxembourg.

It's a phenomenon known in the management trade as "empire building": an urge to create fiefdoms with pumped-up staffs and budgets that match the inflated ego of the perpetrator--and it can sabotage your team, bottom line and worse.

"It can kill the company," says Mark Faust, a growth and turnaround specialist at Cincinnati-based Echelon Management International and author of Growth or Bust! "You're lucky if it's just reducing the potential of the company by 20 or 30 percent, but it could be a lot more. It is one of the greatest constraining factors on U.S. business."

Empire builders don't care about that. Their goal is to increase their personal power and stature by amassing departments, information and head count. They measure their worth by the heft and gleam of their domain. It's a little like the peacock strutting his Technicolor tail for the females, says Art Markman, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin who runs the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur3 min read
5 Ways Franchisees Can Protect Their Business Interests
A longtime franchisee lawyer explains how franchisees can best protect their business interests.
Entrepreneur3 min read
Figuring Out What Can Sink Your Business -- and How You Can Save It
Here's how to spot hidden weaknesses within your operation and steel yourself for unexpected battles.
Entrepreneur3 min readTime Management
How to Figure Out What Your Time Is Worth
March used to be my NBA-watching time. More than halfway through the season, I’d want to see my beloved Miami Heat scrap (or often stumble) its way toward the playoffs. I’d tune in at home. I’d watch on my phone when out. I’d follow games on Twitter.