I Don’t Mind Some Humble Pie

I Don’t Mind Some Humble Pie

Coercion, deceit, and abuse of power. That’s how, in my youth, I saw leaders get results. Coaches yelled and belittled players to win championships. Politicians made empty promises to ensure votes. Employers worked their employees to the bone to get jobs done. Did they get results? Yes. Did they earn my respect? No.

When I stepped into leadership myself, I was faced with the much-debated question: What did it take to be an effective leader? Could I get results without resorting to coercion, deceit, and abuse of power? As I researched the topic and observed leaders I wished to emulate, one quality kept surfacing: humility.

Humility helps me, my team members, and “we”. How?

Me: When I practice humility, I don’t have to waste my time keeping up an unrealistic façade of perfection. I’m free to admit I don’t know it all. That motivates me to learn more, and to gather team members who will complement me. Instead of feeling threatened, I’m able to ask for help or insight. Also, I don’t have to hide my mistakes, but can be an example of taking responsibility.

My Team Members: When I practice humility, I’m approachable to my team members. They are empowered to share ideas without the fear of ridicule. They feel valued because their insight, skills, and knowledge are needed and appreciated. Being able to utilize their strengths makes work enjoyable and rewarding.

We: When I practice humility, an atmosphere of collaboration is established. The team members recognize the need for each other’s expertise. “I must…” becomes “We can…”! Instead of aiming for individual accolades, we cooperate and strive for team success.

When a leader demonstrates humility, everyone benefits. No longer is it leader versus followers; instead, a synergized force is established. With everyone working together, success is more often realized. There’s no need for coercion, deceit, or abuse of power.

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