Five Penetrating Questions that Expose Humility

Patterns are developing after a year and a half’s worth of conversations with high profile leaders and successful authors.

Jay Elliot, former Sr. V.P. at Apple said, “Great people are hard on themselves. My job is to encourage them.

John Spence pulled off the road while on his way to a speaking gig to listen and give me counsel.

Harry Kramer, former CEO of Baxter loves to explain how his future Father-in-law changed his life. Harry said, “I want to make a difference with my life – by treating others with respect and never focusing on my own needs ahead of the goals of my team or the organization.

Joe Tye gave away 100 books and used his influence to connect me with the former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Jim Parker.

Jim Parker couldn’t stop telling stories about the people of Southwest.

Denny Strigl, former CEO of Verizon Wireless said, “I was never good at school, I couldn’t sit still.

Frances Hesselbein tells stories about the most influential person in her life, her grandmother.

John G. Miller said, “I was substantially inauthentic and superficial. I learned the only person I can change is me.

Bob Hancox pressed through my resistance to personally connect and now coaches me without charge. Thank you Bob.

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, invited me to lunch and openly shared his passion to be helpful. “I want to be part of the conversation.” By the way, Doug told me I was taller in real life and I told him he was better looking.

Bob Burg said, “My co-author, John David Mann, is the reason my books do well.”

Humble Leaders:

  1. Do they focus on others?
  2. Are they celebrating people who changed them?
  3. Do they embrace and share their frailties and mistakes?
  4. Can you see their heart? (vulnerability and transparency)
  5. Do they talk more about giving than getting? (generosity)

What questions can you add to the list?


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