Monday, April 13, 2020

Six Leadership Principles for Developing Humility


Leadership is defined as ‘the process in which an individual influences the group of individuals to attain a common goal’. The goal is attained by mutual cooperation and cohesive behavior. A leader infuses a sense of positivity and directs others to reach the specified goal.

There are many characteristics that make a good and effective leader. Effective leaders should have confidence, determination, strength of character and courage. Traits like being decisive and being a good problem solver are also essential. But one very important characteristic of a leader that makes them earn respect and loyalty from their followers is: humility.

When people are given authority over others, there is a temptation or the tendency to abuse their power over others. Abusive and over-bearing leaders may be capable of making people follow them out of fear. But many employees or followers leave their companies because of arrogant and rude bosses. Ultimately, the company suffers because of this.

There is a clear difference between being a boss and being a leader. A leader provides motivation for others and inspires individuals to aim high and attain a goal. However, a boss only supervises over his subordinates. Power naturally comes to a leader but that power is not a tool of leaders.

Humble leaders get the work done and also gain the respect and love of their followers. This kind of leadership gains loyalty and results in long-term harmonious working relationships. Because of this, it is essential that every leader knows the value of humility and keeps that in mind.

To shape a formal leadership development program, the research suggests a curriculum designed around six basic principles:

  1. Know what you don’t know – Resist “Master of the Universe” impulses. You may excel in many things, but as a leader, rely on those who have relevant qualifications and expertise. Know when to defer or delegate.
  2. Resist falling for your own publicity – We all tend to put the best spin on our success, and then frequently forget that reality isn’t as flawless. Basking in the glory of a triumph can be energizing, but too big a dose is intoxicating and it can blur our vision and impair judgment.
  3. Never underestimate the competition – You may be brilliant, ambitious, and audacious, but the world is filled with other hard-working, highly intelligent, and creative professionals. Don’t let your guard down and think that they and their innovations aren’t a serious threat.
  4. Embrace and promote a spirit of service – Employees (and customers) quickly figure out which leaders are dedicated to helping them succeed, and which are scrambling for personal success at their expense.
  5. Listen to the weird ideas – There’s ample evidence the most imaginative and valuable ideas tend to come from left field, or perhaps from an employee who may seem a little offbeat or may not hold an exalted position in the organization.
  6. Be passionately curious – Constantly welcome and seek out new knowledge, and insist on curiosity from those around you. There are correlations between curiosity and many positive leadership attributes, including emotional and social intelligence. Take it from Albert Einstein: “I have no special talent,” he claimed, “I am only passionately curious.”

Humble leaders are the leaders of tomorrow. They do not assume they know everything. They do not assume ultimate control over everyone else. They are empowered and powerful, but this power is achieved differently than it has been in the past.


Humble leaders connect with others at a human level. They’re open-minded, collaborative and listen to others. They create an atmosphere of trust, respect and equality. Everyone and every business can succeed under humble leadership.

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