sage Gary R. Coulton: Do you lead with humility?

 

 

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YUK!!

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http://coultonsconjectures.com/2013/03/25/do-you-lead-with-humility/

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No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organised in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings”

Peter Drucker

Humility is defined as, “A modest or low view of one’s own importance”. It is of course related to the word humble which in turn when used as a noun is defined as an, “expression of humility”. As a verb it can mean, “to lower someone else in dignity or importance”.

You might consider humility rather like walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls. Looking to one side is the quality of your own humility and to the other is your estimation of the humility of the people you lead. To fall either side is disaster as a leader. A fall comes either when you lose sight of personal humility and see yourself as above others or you denigrate other people’s value and see them as below you in worth and ability. It is a very long drop either side and seldom is there a way back up to the tight rope.

Why should leaders be humble? The challenge of understanding yourself and attaining an objective and realistic appraisal of your own worth is complex enough. If you manage to do this you soon realise two things. First, confident modesty is very becoming and attracts people to your cause. Second, you cannot achieve anything of worth without other people to support you. When you start to lead a team or organisation the task becomes so complex that by definition it is a team sport.

The best captains of sports teams are not the prima donnas who seek the lime light, they are usually quiet off the field, thoughtful much of the time but decisive and clear in the heat of action. They support team members with encouragement not coercion. They see the big picture and interpret it in a language understood by everyone else. The best captains always refer to the team when they win big and they never claim the plaudits for themselves.

Humility is not hiding your worth or your contributions, it is much more about not having to tell everyone about them. Humility is about quiet confidence and getting on with the job. Humility is about championing the efforts and achievements of others. Finally, humility is about creating a system that does not require you to be the resident genius but instead a system that releases the genius in everyone else.

 

Your Actions Today

  • Notice how many times you promoted yourself rather than someone else.
  • What was the reason you promoted yourself?
  • What was the response of the other people involved to your self-promotion?
  • What would have been the downside of being humble and promoting others?
  • During and at the end of today make notes on what you observed and felt.

Recommended reading

Humilitas – John Dickson

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