Leading yourself into Humility

humility grass and flower

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I’ll never forget G.J. Hart’s observation about high potential leaders, “I can usually tell if they have the humility to make it.” He focused on character before talent or skill.

Humility yields success; arrogance blocks it.

One source of arrogance is too much knowledge.  However, there’s something that matters more than knowing. It’s practicing what you know. Putting knowledge into practice tests, reveals, and establishes true knowledge.

Practice nurtures humility.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Goethe

Leading yourself:

Thomas Watson said, “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”

Eight practices of humble people.

Humble people:

  1. Restore broken relationships.
  2. Treat others better than they treat themselves.
  3. Acknowledge weaknesses and embrace strengths.
  4. Thank others for support and encouragement. Gratitude tempers arrogance.
  5. Let others perform while they observe and encourage
  6. Ask questions when they don’t know. A know-it-all is arrogant. Humility is openness; arrogance is blindness. The path to wisdom is paved with humility.
  7. Enjoy honor. Arrogance blocks honor either by seeking it or by rejecting it.
  8. Delight in rich sustaining relationships. Arrogance yields agonizing emptiness. Humility welcomes others.

Into humility:

No one can humble you. Only you can humble you. You’ve seen haughty people remain arrogant when they should act humbly. Forced humility actually breaks your spirit. On the other hand, embracing humility frees and energizes you.

Pursing humility is slippery and perilous. Acting humbly helps.

Accepting the conundrum that arrogance is weakness and humility is strength builds foundations for rich leadership.

What other practices of humility can you add?