Eight selfish reasons to be a humble leader

“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues” ~ Confucius

Humility in leadership has become a more visible trait for leaders to have in the wake of public leaders who don’t seem to exhibit it. It is an important quality since it allows leaders to be open to ideas that aren’t their own, encouraging more creativity and engagement in the organizations they lead.

But what if you aren’t motivated to be humbler? Assuming that there us hope for you to see yourself as imperfect, there are some selfishly good reasons for humility to have a bigger role in your life and your leadership. You will become a better person and leader when a desire to be more humble is a catalyst for you to:

Admit your mistakes and weaknesses: Carrying around your mistakes and weaknesses can wear you down. It’s a burden to pretend to be perfect, and freeing to admit to your humanity. Imagine this weight being lifted from your shoulders that allows you to be who you are, with all of your imperfect wonderfulness. Deep breath. Happy sighs.

Apologize: You know you’ve done some things that deserve your sincere apology to someone (or many someone’s). As a fully functional, humble human being you will let people in your past know that you’re sorry for the harm you caused. You will also willing apologize for current and future wrongs. A feeling of freedom can settle into your being and impact the way you lead for the better.

Work for the greater good: Something bigger than yourself is waiting to be addressed. When you take on humility, you are more than willing to have the courage to speak up and work for the greater good. Just thinking about the difference you can make in the world and lives of those you touch gives you a sense of satisfaction. Imagine how great you’ll feel when you can actually make an impact in this way.

Feel a sense of belonging: People find humble leaders approachable. You will feel more like you belong to the human race when you are humble, because you’re more open and willing to listen to others even when they are different or disagree. You’ll gain the benefit of developing the kind of relationships that make you feel a new sense of belonging.

Get input for the best ideas: You want to be at your best by generating creativity in your organization. That’s hard to do when you are the one doing all the thinking.  As a humble leader, you’ll know you don’t have to struggle to come up with the best ideas. When you listen to input from others, you are more easily able to generate enough new ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Attract talent: You want the best people working for you. And the best people are smart and capable of doing the great work of your organization. When you are humble, you’re willing to let others do the work without your interference. This is exactly what those smart and capable people want from you. Imagine how good it will be when the word gets out that you are happy to let people do what they are hired to do.

Become grateful: A sense of gratitude will flow from you as you experience deeper and more trusting relationships. Those around you will express their gratitude in many ways to others, making for satisfied and engaged employees.  A sense of peace settles in.

Become happier: It’s not difficult to see why more humility might make you happier. You no longer need to carry the weight of appearing to be the person with all of the answers. The hidden potential of those around you will be stretched. Instead of pushing your own ideas, there is a shared sense that everyone is doing their part to make the organization successful.

Your humility doesn’t just benefit others; it also benefits you in a selfishly good way!

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.