The concept of the humble leader sounds contradictory to what most people envision in the workplace. The traditional leadership view (real or perceived) cast leaders as hard charging, take no prisoner and only out for themselves.
Humility: the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s importance, rank, etc. (Dictionary.com)
A true leader understands you lead people and manage programs. Not the other way around.
A humble leader displays a level of self-awareness within the workplace to ensure growth for everyone. A humble leader does not seek or need the spotlight to highlight the great work of the team. The humble leader can inspire better team cohesion, eagerness to learn and a better performance outcome for their teams.
The process of leading by example and a leader with a humble approach when working with individuals and teams is an excellent example of this concept. This consistent approach provides a template for others to follow and allows the team to perform knowing the true nature of their leader.
- Build relationships
- Enable trust in the workplace
- Show appreciation
- Display authenticity
A humble leader puts the needs of others before themselves. This could be a simple process of ensuring direct reports have the tools needed to perform their duties. Sounds simple but how many times are work assignments delegated with deadlines, but instructions/tools needed to perform are not provided. The humble leader looks to provide tools needed to ensure overall team success. They are also not afraid to ask questions to ensure the assignment is fully understood. Asking follow-up questions does not show weakness but shows the leader cares and wants to optimize time spent on a specific project.
Being a humble leader does not imply weakness. Humble leaders are always looking to improve themselves and focus on larger, organizational goals—not just their individual goals.
A leader is best when people hardly know that they exist. (Lao Tzu)
What impact does humility have within your current work environment? How would this concept enhance overall productivity in the work environment?