I hope you’ll find this article seasonally appropriate and pertinent to VBL. My goal is to highlight the cornerstone of Values-Based Leadership – HUMILITY.
Whatever your religious view, Christmas is acknowledged widely as a celebration of Jesus’ birth. Most theologians and many historians would agree that Jesus modeled a life – and leadership style – of absolute humility, which resulted in his transformational impact on world history.
So, how can humility yield transformational leadership impact?
People are searching for authenticity today. Authentic leaders are humble, and humble leaders are confident. When leaders show themselves authentic, humble and confident they possess ingredients necessary for transformational leadership impact. We trust them and we want to follow them.
Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself, it is about thinking more highly about others. Humble people are confident – there’s no bravado, no swagger, pretentiousness – they possess a natural and authentic expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard. Humble leaders are more focused on raising-up others than they are on themselves.
Humble leaders take a stand not because they’re always right, but because they’re not afraid to be wrong. Cocky people tend to take positions shouting-others-down and ignoring differing points of view. They always believe they are right. Humble, confident leaders believe doing the right thing is more important than being right. And when they’re wrong or when they make mistakes, they’re secure enough to acknowledge it.
Humble leaders listen more than they speak. Bragging is a mask for insecurity. Truly confident people are quiet and unassuming. They listen, they learn, they earn respect and they lead.
Humble leaders don’t claim the spotlight, they shine it on others. Maybe they did most of the work or overcame major obstacles – they don’t care about accolades – they defer praise and celebrate their accomplishments through others.
Humble leaders don’t put down other people. As Dharmesh Shah wrote: “The only comparison a truly confident person makes is to the person he/she was yesterday – and to the person he/she hopes to someday become.”
Humble leaders earn the trust of followers who, in turn, are willing to commit their talents, intellect and energy to achieving transformational goals.
Whatever holiday you celebrate this month, I hope it honors your beliefs, culture and heritage. I also hope it will be a time for you to consider, appreciate and embrace the transformational power of HUMILITY.