Leadership - Humility

Leadership – Humility

Consider these two great quotes regarding humility and why it is a key to quality leadership.

"Humility is not about thinking less of yourself; it is about thinking about yourself less."

Humility is a great virtue, but it does not mean you have to think less of yourself.  Being humble means thinking of others more than yourself.  That does not mean that you think less of yourself.  As the matter of fact it you can feel a whole lot better about yourself by thinking more about others.  You may not associate humility with great leadership but truly exceptional leaders understand the importance of humility. 

“Pride is concerned with who is right.  Humility is concerned with what is right.”
            -Ezra Taft Benson

As leaders we should be concerned with what is right, not if we are right.  What a great world it would be if we were all more concerned with what is right than who is right.  We spend a lot of time defending our position, arguing our viewpoint and building our own individual case.  Is our position always what is right?  That seems doubtful.  There are times we may be arguing for what is right, but often we are just concerned with being right.  Sometimes we even know that we are not right, but we just can’t bring ourselves to admit that we are wrong.  It should not be about being wrong.  It should be about what is right.  This is a tough one for many leaders.  Often leaders think they are supposed to be right and always have the answers.   

Leadership is not about being focused on oneself and always being right.  Leadership is about thinking more about other and what the right answer is for the situation.  Practice humility…


Leadership – Accountability

For some reason accountability seems to be lost in today’s society.  We are always looking to blame others and point fingers.  Why is it that we are so unwilling to be held accountable for our actions?  Great leaders don’t see it that way.  They are absolutely willing to be held accountable for their actions and decisions.  Accountability breeds responsibility and keeps the buck from being passed around.  Leaders understand that followers need to see leaders who are willing to be accountable.  They also understand that being accountable enables them to hold others accountable as well.  A leaders’ willingness to take responsibility for their actions builds credibility and respect.  On the other hand, the lack of accountability in leadership can undermine authority and lead others to shirk responsibility as well.  Not only is the concept of accountability important in our professional leadership roles but it is even more important at home.  Children need to learn to take responsibility for their actions; it is the only way they will grow up to become accountable leaders.  Be a great leader at work, in your community and at home.  Be accountable!


Leadership - Honesty & Trust

The great guitarist Bo Diddley once said, “Don’t let your mouth write a check that your butt can’t cash.”  Others must believe in you before they are going to follow you.  They need to know that you are going to do what you say you are going to do.  They need to believe that you are honest and can be trusted.  They need to know that your check is not going to bounce!   Honesty and trust go hand in hand with great leadership.  People must experience the leader as believable, credible and most of all, trustworthy.  Trust and honesty are established when words and actions match up.  You don’t build trust by talking about it.  You build it by achieving results, always with integrity and in a manner that shows real personal regard for the people with whom you work.  Honesty is a key to integrity and the trust building process. Trust is what other people invest in you, based on your integrity and honesty.  Trust is their absolute confidence that you are truthful and reliable.  Great leaders are honest and trustworthy!


Leadership - Influence

Have you ever tried to push a string?  It is kind of like nailing Jell-O to a tree.  Neither is really possible. Leadership is not much different.  People do not respond well when pushed, forced or directed.  They respond best when influenced by leaders they respect.  Great leaders are able to influence others, to persuade them to a higher calling.  Influence is the key to leadership, not authority. 
A leaders’ position does not grant them loyal followers, only subordinates.  The only thing a title does for a leader is buy them a little time to either gain or lose influence.  True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned.  It comes only from influence, and that can’t be mandated, it must be earned.  Leadership at its heart is not about authority.  It is about the capacity to energize human resources.  The capacity to energize human resources is influence.  Influence only comes from developing relationships and earning respect over time.

How is your leadership influence?


Leadership - Consistency

Great leaders must be consistent.  When followers never know what to expect from a leader they will stop expecting anything.  Consistency means handling similar situations with a common response.  It involves treating people fairly and being dependable.  Consistency brings stability to an organization and a situation.  Good leaders demonstrate consistency by always being there for their employees, family, volunteers and organization.  It does not mean that great leaders are not dynamic or willing to change.  In fact they must possess the ability to do those as well.  But solid and stable leadership always has some theme of consistency.  Be consistent as you lead this week.