When we think of great qualities of leaders, the first things that come to mind are traits like charism and vision.
You wouldn’t expect to see humility on that list - but you should.
Research shows the effectiveness of humble leadership: Humble leaders have more influence, they attract better people, and they earn more confidence, respect, and loyalty than those who rely upon ego and power.
Humility is not typically the first trait that comes to mind when you think about great business leaders like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates.
Visionary, courageous, charismatic - these are the qualities most of us associate with great leaders. The idea of a humble, self-effacing leader often doesn’t resonate.
So, what makes humility such an important quality?
Humble leaders understand that they are not the smartest person in every room. Nor do they need to be. They encourage people to speak up, respect differences of opinion and champion the best ideas, regardless of whether they originate from a top executive or a production-line employee.
When a leader works to harness input from everyone, it carries through the organization. As other executives and line managers emulate the leader’s approach, a culture of getting the best from every team and every individual takes root.
In short, leaders know how to get the most from people.
When things go wrong, humble leaders admit to their mistakes and take responsibility. When things go right, they shine the spotlight on others.
Humility is most closely associated with a cluster of highly positive qualities including sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness, unpretentiousness and authenticity.
And there’s nothing about humility that makes it incompatible with strength and courage.
Quite the opposite.