Seeking Humility

by Ron

What in your life do you need to let go of so you can become more humble?

Being humble and teachable means learning to trust others and their opinions and instincts. It means listening with the intent of learning instead of simply responding. It means seeking personal development from every situation, experience (both good and bad), and transaction.

Humility is the first pillar of a leader whom others will trust.

I know it may not make much sense, but humility is a prominent characteristic of truly great leaders. A humble person sticks to the basics and is not prone to exaggeration. How much better off would we be today if the leaders of some of our fallen corporate behemoths had kept their heads out of the ozone and their feet on the ground?

Perhaps the most significant quality of humble leaders is their steady, clear-eyed perception of truth. A proud leader is prone to spreading and believing exaggerations—from little white lies to whopping falsehoods. Which high-powered modern leaders, intent on vanquishing foes and surmounting tall challenges, ever want to be known as humble? Not many—until, of course, they find out, as we intend to demonstrate, that humility is a critical first step on the path that leads to leadership success.

Humble leaders take a different approach. They are not so self-absorbed as to think that they don’t need to listen and be open. Their spirits are not critical because they are always open and scanning their employees, customers, and systems for new and better ideas.

Humble leaders know that they cannot control people or circumstances. The irony is that the more they loosen their grip, the more they gain. The more flexibility—rather than control—that they can build into themselves, the more they succeed.

A humble leader welcomes change. Change often equals growth. But not change for the sake of change. A humble leader needs to discern the right change, a skill that is developed by being open and teachable.

Being humble and teachable means learning to trust others and their opinions and instincts. It means listening with the intent of learning instead of simply responding. It means seeking personal development from every situation, experience (both good and bad), and transaction.

So I pose my question once again: What in your life do you need to let go of so you can become more humble?

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