In my experience, I have found ego to be nothing more than pride in its bloated state. For example, a cavalier man (no pun-intended to my Cleveland Cavs Fans) is extremely pompous when it comes to his money, position, education and etc.
One day due to the rough economy, he lost his job. The savings dwindled over the passing months, the refrigerator became empty, and the bills piled up on the desk. He spent everyday searching for a new job. He searched the job boards, he tapped into his existing network, and he made connections with unknown people in his field.