The Practice that Expands Leadership Every Time

Can you feel good about focusing on yourself? I can.

I think, “How fascinating,” when I think about myself, but when my mind turns to others, I think, “They need to improve.”

I need to remind myself that you could be right. But I don’t need any reminders to notice when you’re wrong.

sunset

You don't have to put yourself down to lift others up.

Beginning:

I love the idea of humility but the practice eludes me.

“If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud.” C.S. Lewis

Excuses:

We weasel out of humility by thinking, “Humility is good for others, but self-service is good for me.”

We legitimize self-service. The difficulties and challenges we face become justification to ignore others and focus on our own needs.

“My life is so hard that I can’t make room in my heart for anyone but me.” Then we add, “Right now,” to ennoble self-centeredness.

Opportunity:

It’s natural to take care of yourself. It’s leadership to take care of others.

The opportunity of leadership is taking care of others.

Culture teaches us to say, “I’m number one.” But leaders prioritize the care of others.

Serving others – with no strings attached – is humble leadership.

Questions:

  1. How might you elevate the status of everyone you meet? You don’t have to put yourself down to lift others up.
  2. What could you do today to make others feel important? You can make others feel important without making yourself unimportant.
  3. What talents and strengths does every team member possess? An inability to list the strengths of your team members reflects arrogance. Stop focusing on your strengths and their weaknesses.

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.” John Ruskin

Where, in this post, is the idea of humility pushed too far?

How might humility expand leadership?

Bonus material:

The Go-Giver (Bob Burg)

Give and Take (Adam Grant)

How some of the Best Leaders Seek Inspiration to Give to Others (Forbes)