Egotistical leaders can undermine teams with their self-seeking behavior, warns a recent post on the blog Leadership Freak, advising leaders to use the pull of self-interest to trigger humble service.

The desire to elevate your own personal status while limiting opportunities for potential rivals can lead to a number of negative behaviors, including self-promotion, credit-stealing, backstabbing and finger-pointing, says leadership coach Dan Rockwell.

Some of the other self-seeking behaviors Rockwell identifies:

  • Manipulating others for personal advantage.
  • Delusions of grandeur.
  • Unethical office politics—i.e., building relationships with power-players while neglecting those with less power or prestige.

Humble leaders, on the other hand, are able to see the strengths in others and even brag about them. They put team success above personal success and make sure their own interests align with organizational advantage.

Among Rockwell’s advice for promoting humble behavior: When you feel the need to puff yourself up, praise someone on the team.

For more tips on staying humble, see the full blog posting: “5 Ways to Rise Above Self-Seeking Leadership