How Leaders Can Learn To Be Humble And More Effective – Forbes

Posted: October 21, 2020 at 2:55 am


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The importance of working together

Humble leaders are more effectiveand have better relationships with those they manage.Yet being humble and being a leader- can seem like oxymorons; leaders are expected to be dominant, charismatic visionaries, and that role appears to be the opposite of stopping to write letters to employees parents to thank them for the gift of their children, the action that Indra Nooyi took when she became CEO of PepsiCo in 2006.Yet during Nooyis twelve years ofleadership, PepsiCo experienced an 80 percent growth in sales.

As Jim Collins taught us two decades ago, great leaders embody both humility and drive.Humility allows them to focus on competing for market share, not competing with their workers for status. And humility may also be important for political leadership: Carly Fiorina explained that she is voting for Joe Biden and believes that he is a strongerleader because he hasdemonstrated humility, empathy,the willingness to collaboratewith others.

It turns out that humility can be learned, according to Marilyn Gist, an author, speaker, and educator.She defines humility as a tendency to feel and display deep regard for others dignity to recognize that every person has and needs a sense of self-worth. All it takes is reasonable self-awareness and an interest in learning, explains Gist, in her just-published book, The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility.

With those building blocks of self-awareness and interest in growth, leaders can develop shared vision, accountability, and responsibility throughout their organizations.As Alan Mulally, the former CEO of Boeing and Ford, notes in the books forward, leaders with humility can promote inclusion, participation, commitment, innovation, safety, excitement, discipline, caring, adaptability, and continuous improvement and thats just the start.

In an interview, Gist suggested that there are six pillars for humility:a balanced ego, integrity, a compelling vision, ethical strategies, generous inclusion, and a developmental focus. She stresses that while humility does not involve arrogance, it does require being strong and confident. Leaders who lack humility focus on dominating other people and create toxic environments, while leaders who have humility focus on working together to create a better product.

To check on the status of your own humility, Gist provides a set of questions so that readers can evaluate themselves.See how you rate on the following list:

Do I talk about myself too much?

Am I known for doing the right thing?

Do I include people in conversations and meetings about issues when it really matters to them?

Do I dominate conversations, cutting others off?

Have I shared a clear and compelling vision for our work that shows how it supports the greater good?

Am I true to my word?

Do I openly express genuine concern to all stakeholders?

Do I listen?Am I open to ideas that are not my own?

Do I demonstrate concern for others long-term interests?

Do I interact with everyone in respectful ways?

Depending on your responses and how much you want to change there are tools for developing humility, including learning how to support others and ensuring integrity.

The ability to learn how to be humble may not be the real problem, however,according to a forthcoming paper.The problem may, instead, be that organizations do not select for humble leaders, but usecompetitive tournaments to select for corporate executives promising immediate results, explains UMKC School of Law Professor Nancy Levit.Since leaders with humility are better for their workers and their communities, we need more of them, and we need to create cultures that encourage their characteristics.

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How Leaders Can Learn To Be Humble And More Effective - Forbes

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October 21st, 2020 at 2:55 am

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