Do You Have Genuine Leadership Humility?

No-Excuse-Leadership-HumilityDo you have genuine leadership humility ?

This has been a frequent topic in leadership development discussions. It seems we’ve gotten ourselves stuck in a focus on “me”, rather than “we.” To shift this mindset, humility must become a more popular leadership practice.

In my last post, I posed three questions to assess leadership humility. Here are three more to consider:

  • Do you search for sources of blame when things go wrong?
  • Are your stories getting more creative as you try to avoid judgment?
  • Do you avoid answering questions altogether?

Respect and trust are earned only when you accept responsibility for a situation, learn from it and take steps to avoid a repeat scenario. Blame causes more damage to your reputation than the initial problem. When you accept and acknowledge that you don’t know everything, you’re open to learning new ways to improve efficacy and productivity. Swallowing your pride is a major step toward achieving humility.

Leaders can change—at least to a degree. Behavioral adjustments and upgrades are possible, but they take work. An entire overhaul of your behavior is generally not workable and may indicate you’re not in the correct role.

A cognitive decision to improve is only the first step in practicing humility, point out Merwyn A. Hayes and Michael D. Comer in, Start with Humility: Lessons from America’s Quiet CEOs on How to Build Trust and Inspire Followers (CreateSpace, 2010). Change is proportional to the effort you put into it. Lasting results are achieved only after rigorously practicing new behaviors.

Training your brain requires focus, repetition and ongoing feedback from others. Consider hiring a qualified professional coach to help you adopt a humbler approach to leadership. The rewards are well worth the investment.

What do you think? Do you have genuine leadership humility? You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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