Everything Good in Leadership Begins With…
Everything good in leadership begins with humility.
#1. Humility enjoys the success of others.
Arrogant leaders cringe at the success of others, even though leadership success hinges on the success of others.
- Humility values others without devaluing self.
- Arrogance needs to be ‘better than’. Negative comparisons and trivializing the contribution of others are the tools of self-importance.
- Arrogance collapses inward on itself.
#2. Humility commits to personal growth and leadership development.
- Arrogance protects image at the expense of reality.
- Humility accepts ‘not yet’ and ‘not there’.
- Arrogance rejects the need for personal growth. Are you usually thinking of how other need to grow?
#3. Humility engages others early and often.
- Seek input, alternatives, and feedback.
- Plan collaboratively.
- Resist the comfort and safety of isolation.
#4. Humility has tough conversations.
Self-protection prevents leaders from stating hard truths, brutal facts, and negative feedback.
Self-importance breeds self-protection.
3 steps toward humility:
#1. Craft working definitions of humility.
- Humility is being accountable to someone else.
- Humility is listening with a calm open spirit.
- Humility is asking a second or third question, even when you know ‘the’ answer.
- Humility is exploring how someone else might be right.
- Humility is giving personal affirmations without adding corrections.
- Humility is saying what you really think, even if it’s difficult.
- Humility is telling others what you’re learning.
#2. Think of humility as persistent practice.
Put one or two of your definitions of humility into practice every day.
You can’t talk your way into humility. It’s a practice. Stay cognizant of the tendency to be proud of being humble.
#3. Tell the truth to a trusted colleague, coach, or mentor.
- Connect with a humility accountability partner.
- Explore how pain and failure contribute to your purpose.
- Avoid the ‘woe is me’ attitude of reverse arrogance.
What working definitions of humility might you offer?