“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less” -C. S. Lewis
Aren’t leaders difficult to be around if they always have to be the perfect man around. Leadership is often thought or even taught that it requires a person to be very pushy, aggressive and must stand out amongst any possible competition. If one can strip away the Mr know all attitude , pretension, and superiority, one can surely show the human side. The pursuit of perfection in fact can get in the way of developing the appropriate blend of humility and passion. But for too long, the dominant archetype of leadership have centred upon being a passionate leader—decisive, powerful, driven, self-assured, fearless, ruthless, risk-taking, and so on. What makes humility such an interesting and challenging topic in leadership is its seeming dichotomy with many of the more traditional “strong leader” characteristics stated above.
For leaders to develop to their full potential, there is a need to integrate humility with the more traditional leadership characteristics like charisma, drive, professional will, courage, and determination. It is precisely the co-existence of these two seemingly opposite characteristics that leaders must strive to achieve in order to develop their full potential for long-term leadership effectiveness.
Are you alarmed by the humility deficit in many leaders? Are you in awe of the truly humble leaders who deflect the credit to others. I believe it requires humility to truly be a great leader.
So Is humility teachable?
Truly humble leaders don’t try to impress us with titles, credentials, or accomplishments. They pull out the best in their team. As Max Brown put it “Humility isn’t timidity or weakness. It is confidence, wisdom and grace combine with an acknowledgement that we are all imperfect.”
Route to Humility:
1. Build Faith: We need leaders who are confident enough to not need to talk about it rather show the confidence to believe in their team.
2. Encourage the Art of Great of questioning: Teach the power to pause & think. Asking questions like “What does your team think about this idea?” “Who did you involve in this decision?”
3.Let them step out of their Comfort Zone: Give them a project in an area they know nothing about. This experience could be really humbling. Put them in arenas where they must rely on their team or peers to be successful.
4. Empower them to manage their blind spots: Hire a coach for them. Encourage your team to surface and work through their own conflicts & constrains.
5. Model it for them
6. Add Humour to Work:If you can laugh at yourself it tends to minimize status distinctions between you and the employees.It has an equalising affect and makes a leader look just like everyone else. It is humanising and puts others at ease. It fosters an upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, brainstorming, and creative thinking. All that leads to greater productivity.
You could be a leader in corporate sector or heading a school or an entrepreneur, everywhere you need to be a leader who is approachable, who has a broader vision of the term leadership and lets others be leaders too.
Its a win-win situation for a leader who leads with empathy, compassion, passion, humility & has the confidence to inculcate the leadership at
each level and create leaders !