Our society places a lot of value on external accomplishments and appearance, which can sometimes make it difficult to stay humble and grateful. As a leader, it is imperative to show humility in everything you do, to instill this value in others. It’s important to note that humility isn’t about being meek, or short selling yourself; humility is the understanding of your place and your role, even if that role is at the top.
Why Humility Matters
Being humble is the mark of a great leader for many reasons. First, it facilitates community. Other people will find it easier to relate to you if you are more humble and more like them. This, in turn, draws them closer to you and to each other.
Humility also encourages collaboration. Many people find it hard to approach egotistical people to ask for help or offer their own assistance. This, of course, can kill a team before it even begins. Even when you force people to work together, team members may put forth less effort if they feel the leader is undeserving.
Humble leaders facilitate innovation, as well. They realize that the best ideas often come from beyond their own minds and sometimes, beyond their own teams. Humble leaders encourage creative thinkers to reach into new territories and build new networks and bonds (which, in turn, add to the collaboration power and feeling of community).
How to Be a Humble Leader
It’s difficult for some people to understand how to combine humility and leadership. After all, taking charge of a group of people does require a certain amount of confidence and determination. These tips can help you enjoy the benefits of being humble without sacrificing your capacity to lead.
- Speak About Yourself as Little as Possible
No one likes to hear someone sing his or her own praises. Instead of talking about your accomplishments or goals, talk about the team as a whole – your other associates will support “we” much more readily than “me.”
- Stay Out of Other’s Personal Business
When you work together, you’re forced to become part of each other’s professional lives. A humble leader will not pry into the personal affairs of other people. This is especially true if you plan on giving unprompted advice, as people can easily misconstrue this as pretentious.
- Always Be Courteous
Indignation and humility are polar opposites. Regardless of whether you’re in the middle of an argument or just a chat about the weather, you should always be polite and kind. This goes beyond being a leader as well, and can help you lead a life with fewer regrets about what you say.
- Do Not Seek Admiration
Your goal as a leader isn’t to be loved and admired – it’s to steer the team in the right direction for the success of the company. If your goal is winning hearts instead of improving business, your mind is on yourself.
- Don’t Hide Behind Dignity
Even when you’re the team leader, you should never be too proud or too good to ask for help. Necessity needs to be the driving force behind your decisions and actions, not your own dignity.