The Four Children of Humility

Let’s be honest. You don’t need to be humble to earn money, position, power, even admiration. 

Arrogant leaders “succeed”.

Think of Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian. (I Googled “arrogant celebrities.)

Some might say arrogance is an asset. But Stephen R. Covey disagrees.

“Humility truly is the mother of all virtues.”

Mother humility:

#1. Humility is the mother of grit.

Arrogance feels entitled to success, but humility fails, learns, and gets up again.

I work with leaders who sometimes feel stuck. It’s a blow to our ego to fall below our expectations. The temptation to blame and complain is powerful.

#2. Humility is the mother of taking responsibility.

Arrogance focuses on the offenses and failures of others. They should have … . They didn’t … .

Successful leaders focus on things within their control.

#3. Humility is the mother of connection.

Influence is a function of connection. You can coerce from a distance if you have the power to punish. Influence – persuasion even if you don’t have position – requires that others see and respect you.

Humility connects. Arrogance stands aloof.

#4. Humility is the mother of vitality because it dares to try.

“When we linger too long on a plateau, a little part of us dies inside. But when we step out of the space of knowing—where we are fully capable—and step into unfamiliar territory, we feel alive.” Liz Wiseman

Chose humility even when you feel arrogant.

  1. Encourage someone to keep going when they feel discouraged. Judge them less. Encourage them more.
  2. Believe in someone by rowing with them. This morning I received an email that ended, “Thanks for believing in me.” I didn’t try to “believe in them.” I just tried to row with.
  3. Notice strengths more than pointing out weaknesses. There’s more energy in, “You’re making progress,” than in, “You suck.”

What leadership virtues, behaviors, or skills are the children of humility?