18 May 2018

The humble

Are you a humble leader? We don’t often associate the word “humble” with leadership. Humility is a rare commodity in a culture that celebrates vanity and arrogance. But these qualities don't unlock hearts and minds; humility does.

The most successful people in life are those that show humility. They are the people that never forget where they came from and reflect on what they endured to reach greater heights. It is those people who yearn to continue to give without remembering, regardless of how successful they are, and receive without forgetting and are forever grateful.

Humility is not weakness. On the contrary, it is the highest expression of an individual’s strength. It is the humble acceptance that you are who you are; with all of your flaws and imperfections, and all of your wonderful gifts and talents.

The leaders I respect and admire the most are those that show humility. They talk about how they can improve and be better people. They find ways to connect, share and develop, for their greater success. They are the leaders that know they are not perfect but are instead on this infinite journey of discovery; learning and growing along the way.

One of these leaders is the Dalai Lama, who says something very profound about humility:

“I never consider myself as something special. If I consider myself something different from you, like I am Buddhist, or even more, I am His Holiness The Dalai Lama, or even if I consider I am a Nobel Laureate, then actually you create yourself as a prisoner.”

A prisoner. Our pretence to being something more than anyone else is what ultimately isolates us from our fellow human beings. You can’t lead from a position of isolation. As a leader, you need to engage hearts and minds. You must be free to see and appreciate other viewpoints; to understand and empathise. This is at the heart of knowledge and vision.

Everyone is different. We are all made differently. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Don’t compare. Don’t be envious and don’t let this drive you to compromise everything you stand for to merely win – don’t judge and, above all, don’t gloat. Come from a position of humility and engage humbly with those around you. They have much to teach. You have much to learn.

Humility is the highest virtue and ensures greater success. Don’t be afraid to be a humble leader.

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