A humble leader—one not caught up constantly in personal needs—is able to explore, develop, and encourage the strengths in others. A humble leader wants to create a company of giants, to help people become “bigger” than they ever dreamed possible.
It can be positively exhilarating to learn what qualities the creator has “hard-wired” into others. Many times a humble leader discovers strengths in his or her coworkers that even they have failed to detect. Sometimes you just don’t know what precious gems are buried beneath the surface of another human being.
Finding Diamonds in the Rough
Many leaders focus on people’s weaknesses. They are always trying to “fix” someone. They fail to recognize potential and help people develop a path for personal success and reward.
Each person with whom a leader works has hidden gifts and talents. We need to help them uncover, develop, and use those talents. Humble leaders relish the idea of helping people find their unique niche. They enjoy moving people along to bigger and better things. They celebrate the victories and provide encouragement when their people are discouraged or fearful of moving ahead.
Simple, but powerful ways to do this include:
Assume the best of others
Leaders who expect the best of others exert a powerful influence. Many times leaders get caught in the trap of judging others. They measure, categorize, and classify people and the jobs they perform. assume and reward the best. It helps leaders not make rigid rules that hold down employees who want to soar.
Learn to listen
Being quick to listen implies that a leader is paying attention, that he or she is not distracted but is actively hearing what the other person is saying. A humble leader listens with the intent of understanding rather than responding.
Admit your mistakes
Humble, open leaders show vulnerability. And nothing demonstrates vulnerability quite like admitting mistakes. “I was wrong” is difficult to say, but it is one of the most freeing and powerful statements a leader can make. Admitting your mistakes allows others on the team to relax and admit their mistakes.