Beyond Ego: Influential Leadership Starts Within.


200 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-55022-774-1
DDC 658.4'094






Reviewed by Louise Karch

Louise Karch is a career consultant with Carswell Partners in London, Ontario.


Ego is popular these days, which likely makes it feel all peacocky special. From western best-seller Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose to eastern Canadian Buddhist Pema Chodron, there is an emotional intelligence movement trying to press pause on ego. Entering this dialogue is Art Horn’s Beyond Ego: Influential Leadership Stars Within.


The foundation of Horn’s argument is that people’s career success directly correlates to how well they can manage their emotional responses. In other words, how can we eliminate behaviours that stop productivity and ruin employee engagement? Horn’s answer is contained in three sections, titled “Self-management,” “Self-less management,” and “Mastery.” He gives leaders the theory and practice to understand the nature of ego, self-talk, judgment, and being real. Next, he extols the virtues of empathy, goal setting, creating engagement, and inspiring commitment. Lastly and most enjoyably he speaks about the theory at work, from having great conversations to maintaining your perspective, and how his own offices live these principles. It is that section that makes the book come alive. I wonder if starting with the voices of his staff might have drawn in more readers who might not be open to this approach.


This is not a book that could have been written by someone in their 20s, 30s, or dare I even say 40s. So few books talk about the behavioural antics that get in the way of true business success. It’s often little things that kill employee engagement; one judgmental glance or quip and a team is shamed into silence. Horn is a brave man for writing about soft skills the very interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics that squelch dialogue and thus innovation.


Horn is encouraging a new type of business leader, one who knows their people, one who understands that empathy comes before influencing, and one who is able to manage their own judgments lest they judge others. Horn’s book is full of uncommon common sense, and a lot of workplaces might be happier if bosses learned how to lead as opposed to control and to listen instead of dictate.


Horn, Art., “Beyond Ego: Influential Leadership Starts Within.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,