"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. " - Harry Truman
In my finance career, I prided myself as being a "glue guy." Someone who did whatever it took to get the job done. Someone who saw an issue and dealt with it. In basketball, it's someone like Kawhi Leonard. He plays hard defense, makes the extra pass, and dives for the loose balls.
But I always eventually became disillusioned with the projects I worked on. At first, I thought it was because I wasn't in control. I felt my ideas should have more weight. I thought of the above quote and tried to keep my head down and my ego in check.
But, looking back, I realize I became disillusioned because I never believed in the projects. Finance is a zero-sum game. Modeling cashflows and getting projects done could be an interesting intellectual exercise, but there was something missing.
I recently talked to Tom Morgan about how he integrates the ideas of Iain McGilchrist. He said the rational left hemisphere of the brain has to be in service to the connective right hemisphere. That is, your skills must be applied to a task that connects you to the world.
Subsuming your ego isn't enough, you still have to relate to the world.