We often talk about humility in leaders but why? To me there are two main reasons why humility is important.
Firstly, it is the impact it has on our own thinking as a leader. Humility is core to the self-actualised thinking as it recognises that even though we have strengths as leaders we also have weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Even elite sports people have self-doubts so humility is important in our own thinking that it is fine to have weaknesses. It is a form of self-acceptance that also translates itself in terms of being open about our weaknesses but also at the same time not letting our strengths go to our heads.
If we define ourselves by our talent there will always be someone better than us and at some point our sense of superiority will actually result in feelings of inadequacy. In effect there will come a point where we don’t live up to our own expectations.
In short, humility builds self-esteem and self-acceptance, whereas needing to feel superior is actually masking feelings of inadequacy.
Secondly it is the impact it has on those around us. Humility in leaders is highly motivating as it makes leaders value others who work with them. This creates a strong loyalty in the team whilst maximising the performance of others.
Leaders who are genuinely humble, particularly those who show gratitude towards their team and others around them build lifelong commitment and loyalty.