4 pieces of humble pie

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[vimeo id="103730092"] What word would you use to describe someone who doesn’t think much of their rank or title? They may even have low or modest view of their position. They might even feel unimportant when they’re around ‘influential’ people.

We would probably call them humble.

C.S. Lewis once said that, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.”

I’ve always loved that quote, but humility is something that many leaders struggle to live out in their position. I came across an article by Harvard Business Review that stated that humility is one of the common traits among all effective leaders. It also shared exactly how humility can be lived out at the workplace and in a leadership position.

First, leaders should share mistakes as teachable moments. Failing is the one thing that everyone fears. However, when leaders showcase their own failures and highlight how they grew from them they can use them as teaching moments to others. They show that they, too, failed at one point or another, but learned how to overcome them.

Second, leaders should engage in dialogue, not debates. The point here is, don’t try to be right because you refuse to be wrong – even when you’re wrong. The truth is that everyone will know that you’re wrong and you just come across like a fool. Rather than always trying to be right, spend time engaging in a meaningful dialogue and learning another point of view.

Third, leaders should embrace uncertainty. Most of today’s decisions are not black and white choices. As a result we have to navigate the grey areas and the items that are uncertain. Learning to embrace the uncertainty by admitting that you don’t have all the answers will empower organizations to think creatively. Embracing uncertainty will empower teams to think through different scenarios and consider the different outcomes.

Fourth, leaders should role model being a follower.  Leaders have a hard time following other leaders because they’re the ones who should be leading – right? Well, not always. Think about how powerful an example a CEO would set in the organization when they choose to follow someone else’s lead in a particular area. This is a real sign of humility. The fact is that leaders don’t know everything and they will need advice and leadership from others who have expertise. This is essential for cultivating an inclusive culture in your organization.

One thing that is absolutely necessary to successfully living these out is to have a genuine posture of humility. You might fake it for a little while, but unless you believe it and put it into action intentionally, you will not succeed. You have to swallow your pride and accept the fact that you don’t know everything.

Thanks for checking out my blog today, and if there are any points that you would like to add to this list, then please let me know – I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again and have a great day!