Egos in the WorkplaceTraits like altruism and compassion may not be limited to merely humanity, but there is one aspect of mankind that has no clear comparison throughout the animal kingdom- Egotism. Sure, we each may experience some excessive joy for ourselves at some points in life, but a true, ironclad ego is a force to be reckoned with. The tricky thing about an ego is that, at its worst, it becomes like an escaped criminal trying to mask it scent from the bloodhounds; it convinces the person it has consumed to put up a facade to disguise itself. Watch any presidential debate and count the number of times the candidates thank their families for their love and support. The power of love is what paved your path to the presidency? Even Huey Lewis wouldn’t buy that.

When it comes to employees, an overblown ego can not only be detrimental to quality output or acting as a team player, but it can also be incredibly dangerous and potentially catastrophic for a company’s reputation. Take, for example, the recent news that the Department of Justice has begun an internal investigation over a 2014 data breach that revealed personal information for tens of thousands of Uber drivers. An investigation by Uber supposedly revealed that the breach is linked to Chris Lambert, the chief technology office at Lyft, a rival company.

Could Lambert have been acting on behalf of nefarious orders from Lyft? Certainly plausible. But let’s consider for a moment the possibility that he wasn’t, and that Lyft had no knowledge of any of this malicious activity. The possibility that Lambert was so invested in his employer’s mission that he went out of his way to sabotage the competition and became the target for lawsuits and a criminal investigation.

A careless employee is one thing. A malevolent employee is another. But an overly-enthusiastic employee is something else entirely. Riding the line between promoting employee pride and not pushing employees over the edge into upbeat radicalism can be difficult to identify and often ignored entirely. Many organizations will operate under the assumption that there is no level of employee optimism that could possibly be worthy of alarm. When this passion is combined with ego, however, the results can be devastating.

Can you watch over the actions of employees and promote responsible behavior in the workplace? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that every possible harmful event will be avoided. Utilizing the behavior analysis capabilities and desktop recordings of a User Activity Monitoring platform can help a business remain vigilant against threats and accidental wrongdoing. When a security system is being implemented, it’s important to keep the human element as far away from daily operations as possible. A quality employee can help an organization, but the threat of one like Lambert should be enough for organizations to recognize the dangers and employ a digital watchdog instead.

A strong ego can build an empire, but left unchained, and it will crumble it.