In our series on the most important characteristics of leaders that should remain constant, through any industry I see that humbleness follows being truthful, and passionate. A Humble Leader is an ambitious leader, but a lot of negative fame has surrounded this type of a leader. The fame pictures a humble leader to lack the drive to take an organization and team into delivering results, which is not true.
Good ambition combines a desire to move up with a commitment, to adding value for everyone involved, and marked with self discipline rather that domination of others. Humble leaders refuse to kill the minds, passion, ideas, careers, and sense of worth of their team members to scramble toward the top. Humble Leaders don’t allow their own ambitions to blind them to the needs and success of those around them. This attitude by a leader in itself is what I see to be innovative leadership which allows room for others to deliver value through adding value to those around you resulting in a high sense of loyalty, morale and culture.
A lot of leaders are afraid, and wish to avoid their team identifying them as week hence decide to take a sharp turn from humbleness, which causes more damage on the culture, loyalty, and morale of the team. Humble Leaders value others and they build the same “others first” humility into their organizational cultures, as a sign of strength and not weakness as they are confident in their abilities yet have an understanding that their job is to lead others. They know that developing respect for others starts from the bottom up and they remember that no one is ever very far from the bottom and that the arrogant are especially close to it. If a leader does not have that attitude it is hard to expect from their team to have it, and as a result team members are working in silos. A silos culture treats the individual as a GOD and creates “its all” about me attitude. On the other hand a culture lead by a humble leader allows people to understand that your opportunity will become effective when you become effective.
Leadership comes with a lot of praise and criticism, but believe it or not criticism is a lot easier to handle for a leader than praise. Criticism of any leader provides them with room for development and the ability to develop their leadership style, should they accept criticism. Praise especially for the arrogant leader provides them with blindness of their team, market, ability to learn, weaknesses and strengths. On the other hand a humble leader becomes a lifelong learner, to become successful and can handle praise in the way it should be handled; especially as praise is needed for a leader. Arrogant leaders are always guided by ignorance- simply as only someone who is ignorant about the size of life can be arrogant enough to think they have it figured out. With a contrasting difference to humbleness which provides a realistic assessment of a Leaders true ability, focus on development of others, builds character and provides self discipline. Confidence and humbleness seems to be opposites, but in reality they are very closely interrelated and mutually supportive. Humbleness prevents confidence from morphing into arrogance and confidence prevents humbleness from morphing into debasement. For that reason we see humbleness to be self serving training character of a leader that gives them sustainability, loyalty, morale, impact, and results?
Do you see humbleness as a weakness? What ways has humbleness affected your leadership negatively? If you are not humble are you arrogant, or is there a compromise?