Of all the things I hear from people describing the attributes of leadership greatness, the one I hear missing the most is Humility.
The word humility gets its roots from the medieval saint by the same name Saint Humility. The word comes from the Latin humiliates meaning “Humble.” Humility in the dictionary is described ‘as the act of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one’s place in context.’
Too many senior leaders I see put themselves above the team they are leading. I’ve seen situations where businesses were struggling significantly in the marketplace, and instead of focusing on what’s important, the leaders were busy making sure that their needs were being served.
Arrogance and pretentiousness are the kiss of death for a leader and the business they are leading. Here’s the thing though… Leaders that lack that humbleness to put their personal interests and unfocused priorities ahead of the customer, the team, the brand, the culture and the values of the organization NEVER see what they are doing and, when questioned about it will always say they put everything else ahead of their personal agenda.
If you truthfully answered “Yes” to all of the above, congratulations. Go forth and lead.
If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, thank you for being honest. If you care about being a humble leader, build yourself a plan to increase your awareness so you can make better choices and therefore, become a leader that wins the hearts and minds of your team and customers.
Leadership is a privilege not a right. As a leader, we will have that privilege taken away from us quickly when we lack the humility to lead. There is no room in world class brilliance for leaders that work hard to make sure they “Eat First.”