When you think about leadership, chances are, you’re thinking of a strong confident leader with a host of admirable qualities. Like intelligence, charisma, innovativeness, decisiveness, and a willingness to put in the hard work necessary to get things done. But there is one trait that is equally important which is humility. Whatever style of leadership one may have, humility undeniably forms the core. Humble leaders listen more effectively, inspire great teamwork and focus everyone (including themselves) on organizational goals better than leaders who don’t score high on humility.
So, if you want to be better for your people, lean into humility as a leader.
In this article, we’ll cover:
What is humility in leadership.
Tips to harness the power of humility as a leader
- Empower & listen to other team members
- Admit your mistakes
- Accept feedback
- Prioritize learning
- Acknowledge team members’ hard work
Let’s understand what is humility in leadership
Essentially, humility is the ability to see yourself as is. It is the ability to recognize your strengths and successes and be mindful of your weaknesses and limitations.
The mindfulness that a leader is not perfect and that you don’t always have the answer or know the best way forward is the biggest strength of a leader. Contrary to the perception that humble leaders lack confidence, such leaders typically are fully confident in their skills and abilities. They know their strengths and blind spots and aren’t embarrassed or ashamed to admit it, the only thing is that they don’t allow their weaknesses to limit them rather they play on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.
Effective ways to Infuse humility in your leadership style:
1. Empower & listen to other team members
Humble leaders understand they are not the smartest people in the room. They are good listeners, believe in empowering, respecting differences and opinions and value each member. Humility in leadership is about being an enabler, empowering and valuing each team member.
2. Admit your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, humility in leadership is also about admitting mistakes, being vulnerable and being open to growing and moving past errors – it’s about bursting the myth of perfectionism and reinforcing humanness!
3. Accept feedback
To grow in life, and as a leader, one needs to welcome criticism with an open mind. Welcome the viewpoints coming from all around & reflect on them. It entails taking feedback constructively and not as a criticism.
4. Prioritize learning
When leaders prioritize learning, they communicate to their teams that everyone has room for curiosity and growth. Humility in leadership is being concerned and committed to mutual progress.
5. Acknowledge team members’ hard work
When an individual — or the entire team — notches a win, humility is about standing behind as a leader and ensuring the team enjoys the spotlight while taking the lead and responsibility when the team has not performed.
- Humility in leadership can manifest in different ways in different people. It’s about recognizing that as a leader you are not invincible. The mindfulness that you, like every other person, have areas where you can grow, change, and improve.
- Humility in a leadership approach is not a weakness, in fact, it is a melange of positive qualities that includes sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness, unpretentiousness, and authenticity. It is about being Human.
- Humble leaders are confident in their strengths and abilities. But they can also recognize gaps, challenges, and growth opportunities
- Humility entails better listening, increased collaboration, and a more compassionate leadership style. It is about being authentic and moving forward with the agility to learn and grow. These qualities lead to better outcomes, both for the leaders and their team.
- Whatever your leadership style, anchor it with humility for it offers an unmatched advantage to you as a leader right from gaining positive influence, makes you more accessible and relatable, helps you build trust and confidence, and drives better outcomes. Most importantly it helps you be a better leader!