More on Humility as a Leadership Trait

Humility as a Leadership Trait

Long ago, as I started my consulting career, I was assisting a colleague in running a Leadership Development Course. Over a period of several days, I watched this group of 15 individuals, young, confident, cocky and somewhat arrogant. I asked my colleague if I could run a session on Humility. And so began my interest in the traits that, when cultivated and attained, manifest in deep leadership ability.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been revisiting Humility in these posts as we explored some of the concepts behind Good to Great, and in a more abstract way, through Empathy and Business Assertiveness. But humility is difficult to define. Worn as a cloak, something just thrown on, it is condescending, impatient and easily spotted. Ingrained, it becomes a way of being, rather than a way of doing.

Humility as a Leadership Trait

Humility gives a person that indefinable sense of being calm, grounded, centred, and strongly committed to direction and outcome. Humility is a shock absorber for the difficult experiences on the workplace. Humility makes a person immune to resentment and able to place everything in proportion and balance.

A person lacking in humility does not give the appearance of being firmly rooted and poised within himself. At the other extreme, the arrogant person presents a picture of insecurity and incompleteness.

Humility does not mean a person is low in self acceptance, is self-sacrificing or self-critical. Humility is natural when a person cultivates a strong and  balanced self-assurance that is without self-centredness, and which has the courage to value other people, their work and their ideas and opinions. Leaders with Humility are strong leaders, performance centred and deliverers of results.

Is your leader/team member/CEO more abrasive than humble?

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