Ode To Stephen Colbert - The Ultimate Ego

I am a big fans of the Colbert Report. With just a couple episodes remaining, I want to point out that Stephen has something to teach to us about leadership.

Stephen on the  Colbert Report is the best example of the ego and personas at play. Notice I say play, not work. I enjoy watching Stephen consciously wear his ego on his sleeve and the entertaining adrenaline rush of the crowd.

I love Stephen – for about twenty-one minutes only, because twenty-one minutes is all I can take of his ego.

Now imagine working with Stephen Colbert in character – for over eight hours a day. Navigating and interacting with his ego and personas would be exhausting.

What can he teach us about leadership? Egoic behavior is not sustainable.

A persona is a mask we present to the world to satisfy the demands of a situation or the environment. This mask does not represent the inner authentic true essence of ourself – the truth of who we are.

Wearing these masks is exhausting. During his show the other night, Stephen gave some advice to James Corden: “Get some sleep now. I’ve been doing this show for nine years and my body has started burning my teeth for fuel.” The crowd reacted with an empathetic “awwwww.”

After nine years Stephen will drop his conservative persona. Check this out:


It’s time to “get real” – ALL of the time.

Join me in starting a new trend: Drop your ego and get real.

Stephen seldom does interviews independent from his character, opting to keep his real life more private. We never get to know the real Stephen.

In our day-to-day – we want to be connected to our colleagues. We want to know the real person – this is where true connection happens: essence to essence. And it is from this connection that we are super productive.

Get out of “character” like Stephen:


Create a culture where you encourage everyone to be real. Here’s why:

  • Being in alignment with what you claim to stand for and how you lead is congruent.
  • Our ego is the #1 reason we don’t feel our feelings. Conscious and Mindful Leaders know letting our emotions flow at work is crucial to connection, creativity and our health.
  • We waste a huge amount of energy trying to be someone we are not – re-channel that energy to innovation and productivity.
  • By dropping our personas and getting real, our egos are not in charge. We can accomplish tasks from our being. We are present and congruent with what the moment is calling for.
  • Saying the ultimate no – to your ego, to the mind chatter – puts you in the drivers seat of your actions.
  • Conscious Leaders know that authentic interactions are the number one priority to keeping people connected.
  • Saying no to activities that drain your energy is crucial to thriving and preventing illness and burnout.

So join me in saying goodbye to Stephen Colbert, and let’s all say goodbye to leading by our own ego.