How Humility Serves You Well

I sent the following text message to a leader I’m mentoring. He’s scheduled for a job interview and I thought I’d give him something to think about.

“I wonder what humility looks like in a job interview. You have to “brag”, right?”


He’s reading, “Humilitas,” by John Dickson. We’ve been talking about humility for a few weeks. The topic fascinates me because it’s illusive. And most leaders could up their humility practice.

I use “practice” in relation to humility because practice is the most you can expect. You may not feel humble, but you can practice it.

The practice of humility looks like listening, noticing others, and honoring strengths.

The feeling of humility comes and goes.

You know you’re on the right path when success humbles you. But…

Don’t wait to feel humble to practice humility.

Justify the un-humble practice of humility by embracing your aspirational self. You aren’t a hypocrite if you live into your aspirations.


Here’s his reply to my original text message.

“Great question and good timing, once again.

I’ve been thinking that my purpose is to help them decide whether I’m the right candidate for the job, not just selling them on me and all my great qualities.

So, to me, humility requires that I focus on what’s best for the position, and not necessarily what’s best for me.”

I replied, “Love that. Brilliant idea.”


  1. Seeks the best interest of others.
  2. Avoids presenting a false or inflated appearance.
  3. Works to understand and promote the goals of others. (The organization and people you serve.)
  4. Explores how personal strengths, experience, and values might be useful to others.

How might leaders practice humility on a daily basis?