The antithesis of humility is arrogance. A narcissistic leader always makes himself bigger than others, bigger than the team, bigger than the organization, nevertheless, in the end, the humble are the greatest!
There’s always room in the world for another servant leader. Humility rests firmly on the foundation of self-awareness and generates two important qualities:
A thirst for personal growth and a healthy dose of self-discipline.
It requires a certain degree of humility to recognize that you don’t know everything and an equal measure to want to keep on learning. These qualities are precisely what makes leaders great. One, they don’t stop learning. Two, they’re constantly looking for avenues to learn. They make libraries out of people, the past including their pain.
One of the greatest tests of humility and learning is the openness to receive feedback. Yes, most leaders who don’t care much for feedback are either ignorant or arrogant.
Most people treat feedback like dirt, but the humble leader is instinctively grateful for it. He appreciates feedback as a gift – pleasant or unpleasant.
Humility is the hallmark of leadership because it invites feedback, and when leaders are receptive to feedback, it creates a culture of development.
If you desire a turnaround in your teams, a leader must become vulnerable. This is what you can do- ask your teams to answer these questions in your absence
“What do you want me to keep doing?”
“What do you want me to start doing?” and,
“What do you want me to stop doing?”
Upon receiving collective feedback, expect both pleasant and unpleasant surprises. The benefits over time will be a team that respects you and are willing to follow your example, by giving and receiving feedback.
…feedback is not always graciously given, but leaders receive it anyway.
There is an example of the great Abraham Lincoln;
At some point in the Civil War, he ordered a war declaration to the war department which was opposed by his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton. The messenger that relayed the information told Lincoln that Stanton had not only countermanded the authorization but had also called the president “a damn fool” for issuing it. “Did Stanton say, I’m a damn fool?” Lincoln asked. He then exclaimed, “If Stanton says I’m a damn fool then I must be one, for he is nearly always right and says what he means. I will step over and see him.”
Great leaders welcome feedback with humility in whatever form it takes with.
Humility breeds a thirst for self-discipline and discipline generates laser-sharp focus. Humility recognizes that greatness requires sacrifice and sacrifice requires self-discipline. No leader has led without these two values.
Self-discipline is about your choices. You can choose to focus on strengthening your weakness or you can decide to concentrate on enhancing your strengths. The voices around you urge you to focus on the former, however, it requires self-discipline to keep you working on your strengths – the wiser but harder path.
Self-discipline is about living consistently with your worldview and leadership philosophy, applying principles above preferences; in this way you create a consistent command pattern that people can blindly follow and rely on.
Questions, How open are you to feedback, pleasant or unpleasant? How committed are you to personal growth and self-discipline?