Are you a humble leader?
Humble leaders regard the needs of others ahead of one’s own. They think of self less, not less of self. They are fulfilled by helping others achieve fulfillment. A leader with a humble approach lifts people’s spirits, self-esteem and confidence.
I’ve been writing about this in recent posts. If you want to harness the power of humble leadership, I recommend that you start by assessing your behavior. In my last post I shared three key questions; here is one more for you to consider.
On a scale of 1 – 5 with 1 being “Never” and 5 being “A great deal of the time”…
How often do I find blame with others when things go wrong? Are your stories getting more creative as you try to avoid judgment? Is throwing people under the bus more the norm than the exception? Try to recognize that blame causes more damage to your reputation than the initial problem. Respect and trust are earned only when you accept responsibility for a situation, learn from it and take steps to avoid a repeat scenario. Admit to your people that you don’t know everything and you’re open to learning new ways to improve efficacy and productivity. Swallowing your pride is a major step toward achieving humility.
Leaders can certainly change—at least to a degree. Behavioral adjustments and upgrades are possible, but they take work. An entire overhaul of your behavior is generally not workable and may indicate you’re not in the correct role.
A cognitive decision to improve is only the first step in practicing humility, says Merwyn A. Hayes and Michael D. Comer in, Start with Humility: Lessons from America’s Quiet CEOs on How to Build Trust and Inspire Followers (CreateSpace, 2010). Change is proportional to the effort you put into it. Lasting results are achieved only after rigorously practicing new behaviors.
Training your brain requires focus, repetition and ongoing feedback from others. Consider hiring a qualified professional coach to help you adopt a humbler approach to leadership. The rewards are well worth the investment.
If you’re ready to individual coaching support or would like to explore ways to develop humility for leaders, get in touch with me here.