Can a Humble Leader be Effective?


Humility requires leaders to shed all their prejudices and biases. Humility requires you as a leader to examine who you are and what you have become. Humility requires a completely new way to evaluate people (and yourself). Just because individuals have made it to a higher position on the corporate ladder does not make them any smarter, any more correct in their decisions, or any more valuable than others within an organization. True humility leads to openness, teachability and flexibility.

Much of the business world still believes that the take-charge, proud hero-leader is the answer to every company’s prayers for a robust bottom line. This thinking may have made sense at one time, but no longer, as some of the world’s largest companies have stumbled in shame under leadership styles that will never be described as humble.

So, can’t an aggressive leader be effective? Of course. However, studies show when an aggressive leader (one lacking humility) tries to force his or her own ideas on others, the rate of success is not as high as when the leader is open to new ideas and willing to listen, bend, change, and seek commitment from his or her people.

Pride focuses the attention of leaders onto themselves; humility focuses the attention of leaders onto others. The proud leader wants success that brings him perks. The humble leader wants success that brings enduring health to the others and the organization. Which leader would you want to work for? Which one would you trust?

The path to great leadership begins with taking a step down to humility. Can humble leaders be effective? You bet.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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