In Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Ideal Team Player” he describes the importance of humility. Humility is not just a lack of an overly active ego but also avoiding a lack of self-confidence. It requires an accurate sense of our strengths and challenges. Holding those two in balance allows us to contribute to the team but also share opportunities and support others on the team.
Leaders must be driven by humility and integrate this quality into their work. For example, when receiving recognition do we share that honor with our team members? I was at an awards luncheon where an organization was being honored for their employee friendly policies and work. They called up the VP of HR as well as the CEO to receive the award. However, the VP of HR had to stand by while the CEO received the award and made all the remarks as if he alone was responsible for their success.
Leaders must also be driven to make decisions based on humility. Doing so causes us to move beyond our own preferences to push for what is best for the team, our clients, or the community. Pride tends to make us believe that our preferences or desires are most important. The greatest leaders are the ones who have a keen sense of others’ needs and are willing to sacrifice their own comfort to serve the greater good.
Leaders must also be humble enough to ask for input and be a learner, and follower at times. When you think about the needs of your team and organization, there are times when your strengths are exactly what the team needs. However, there are other times when the team needs something that is not your strength, and you need to rely on the strengths others have that will meet that need. Humility allows us to share our leadership and to work interdependently in order to reach our goals.
Consider how you can increase your humility quotient by asking for input, working interdependently, sharing credit, and making decisions that are other focused.