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Humbleness, Key Number 8 to Great Leadership

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This is without a doubt one of the key differences between an excellent leader and an outstanding leader. You might be able to be an excellent leader without to much of this, but to be outstanding you have to be humble.  Just plain and simple fact.  This is one reason we have so few outstanding leaders in the world today. 

This is the leadership key to it all. You can never be an outstanding leader without being humble. Put your people first, put the company first, put your family first, but yourself last. Can you do it?

 As a leader always remember that pride is the most difficult of human sins to overcome.  One can even become proud of his humility. 

So how does humbleness relate to leadership – today's list of 10+1. 

1.      It is always the secure who are humble. -Gilbert Keith Chesterton        

Outstanding leaders are very secure in who they are and what they are doing.  Weakness shows through no matter how much you try and cover it up.  A stronger leader admits when it is tough and then deals with it and moves forward.  

2.      People with humility don't think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less.  Norman Vincent Peale 

If you keep talking about yourself you might convince yourself of how great you are, but the rest of us already know it is not true.  If you are really leading, you have so much going on you just don't have the time to think about yourself.  If you are thinking about yourself, who is thinking about your team.  

3.      You shouldn't gloat about anything you've done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do. -David Packard

A man who built one of the greatest technology companies every.  Why?  Because instead of gloating, he continued to look for better and better things to do.  Outstanding leaders are on a mission.  They never have time to gloat.  They are simply to humble. 

4.      Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected. ~William Safire

When the leader has the guts to admit he/she was wrong, it puts them on a whole new level with most people.  “I was wrong.  I know I thought I had the right answer, but I did not”.  What if some of our elected officials actually had the guts to do this?  Would you  have a bit more respect for them?  

5.      Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts.  It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all. -William Temple  

As a leader you have a mission.  That mission is to leader those you have been given responsibility for.  You gave up thinking about yourself when you took on the task of being the leader.  Now do it. 

6.      Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening!   -Author Unknown 

But it is certainly painful.  Specially the first time.  I was wrong.  You were right.  We should have done it his way.  She knew better.  But you get over the pain and it makes you a better leader.     

7.      A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. -Benjamin Franklin

There are many people who think they are great leaders.  There are many people who will claim to be great leaders.  But outstanding leaders never think about themselves.  They have to many following them that they need to be concerned about. 

8.      It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say "I don't know!"  -Somerset Maugham

How many of us can relate to this one?  I can.  It takes most of us a long time to finally say it.  In fact, say it right now, “I don't know”.  It is not a sin.  It is not painful.  It is simply the truth.  Even outstanding leaders don't know everything.  But they do know how to admit it. 

9.      Don't talk about yourself; it will be done when you leave. -Wilson Mizner 

When you leave the room, people will begin to talk about you.  Whether it is good or bad, will depend on what type of leadership you have demonstrated.  But don't get to confident.  Because even great leaders sometimes get negative talk.  After all, great leadership requires doing what is right, not necessarily what is popular. 

10.    When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it. ~Bernard Baily

This one I have to love.  It is not about you.  Period.  I don't care what you have done or who you are.  Leadership is not about you.  It is about your team.  Your team must be the center.  The greatest compliment you can pay your team is, “I did very little, my team deserves the credit.  They are great”. 

10+1.         Humbleness is strength not weakness 

Outstanding leaders are strong because outstanding leaders have the strength of true humbleness. 

You lead by example.  How many times do we say, “walk the walk”.  If you exhibit humbleness, what option does your team have but to exhibit it as well. 


© 2014 by  Manny Nowak