Humility is One Attribute That No Leader Should Do Without

I woke up this week with an ego that I was not happy with. It was getting me into trouble, making me argumentative, putting special relationships at risk and generally making a mess of things.

“David, stop. Get over yourself. Remember what you have always said… you did not get here on your own – there were hundreds of people who have contributed to your journey along the way.  Remember them and remember that it has always been an ‘us’ or ‘we’ in your life and never a ‘me’ or ‘I’.”

I think I am writing this for me as much as for any of you.

Humility is something that I typically would assign a high score on my ‘qualities’ list.  Humility is something that I was reminded of the importance of this week.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as “freedom from pride or arrogance.” In fact, it is listed as an antonym for words like “egoism,” “conceit” and “superiority.”

C.S. Lewis said “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”   

I love that. 

A recent article by Inc. Magazine wrote “Professionals who don’t have much humility have a tendency to dismiss all criticism or worse, blame others for their own mistakes.”

The same article goes on to say “A study published in the Journal of Management highlighted just how far-reaching the effects of humble leadership can be.  The study concluded that leaders who were humble were far more likely to delegate and innovate. As a result, company performance and employee satisfaction improved, while turnover fell. In other words, humble leadership essentially empowers employees.”

And finally, the same article wrapped up with “Though humility is often underrated by the world at large, it’s essential if you want to be successful as a leader not just at work, but in life. Reject your notion to boast or lift yourself above anyone and decide to be at the service of others.”

Did you hear me David?

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