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Suzanne Matthiessen shares 9 reasons why humility makes for an exceptional leader

Great insights by Suzanne Matthiessen https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-matthiessen-92526189


Humility is a powerful trait 

Humility is often misunderstood as being weak and even powerless, yet it is the exact opposite – as it actually cultivates strong, empowering, ethical and consciously engaged leadership no matter what sphere of influence you have – as a parent, teacher, boss, friend, a member of your community, or otherwise. When we consider the greatest leaders of all time that we deeply admire, humility is often one of his or her stand out characteristics. In fact, recent studies have concluded that CEOs who are humble tend to make strong leaders because they empower others, foster both a greater sense of ownership among managers, and more committed, creative and satisfied employees. Humble bosses also tend to be more open to making joint decisions, and are mindful of their own strengths and weaknesses and of those around them.

(Ik comment Famous leaders …. Who are a few humble leaders? Who are a few egotistical leaders that you can think of? What is the feeling when you think of each)

1. You can’t fake humility 

You can’t fake humility, even though we see often people attempt to do so. You can’t talk your way into humility; it’s always transparently practiced, and perennially refined. Ego-driven leaders might be successful in the marketplace or political arena in terms of fame, numbers, or level of control alone, but they’re much less successful human beings in their personal lives, and often live with tremendous self-created stress and pressure, coupled with poor coping skills and lower emotional and social intelligence.

2. Humble people have a spirit of generosity and a feeling of gratitude

Humble people are happy to lend a helping hand, expecting nothing in return. At the very core of a humble person is someone who has a true sense of self worth and has no need to feel insecure, or to manipulate, deceive or put down others in an ego-driven attempt to prop themselves up. Possessing a humble character is a vital component for achieving authentic success in all areas of life. It is an unspoken inner strength that doesn’t require the need for praise, attention, or approval from others, and should not be mistaken for meekness, or playing small in life. The humble person feels balanced, focused and grounded as they engage in a strong work ethic to achieve their goals and visions, never boastful about successes – or self-berating when they fail – they simply keep moving forward, able to see the value and lessons in both. They are quick to genuinely offer praise and compliments, always give credit where credit is due, and don’t engage in false modesty when being praised or complemented themselves.

3. Humble people take responsibility and are open to new ideas (how can I help you vs wiifm)

Humility gives us the power to honestly acknowledge and own our mistakes and limitations, be open to new ideas, to cultivate patience and gratitude, and allows us to maintain a realistic perspective of our place in the larger world as no more important or less important than anyone else.
Humility empowers someone to ask, “How can I give?” Ego drives someone to ask, “What can I get?” – or worse, “What can I get away with?” 

4. Humble people don’t have a sense of entitlement

Humble people don’t have a sense of entitlement, don’t think they are owed things, nor do they feel that they automatically deserve to have whatever they want, just because they want it. They are optimistic, yet they don’t try to force their way to “make things happen the way they want them to be” – instead, they possess both the openness and the flexibility to see that there might be a better way than their way, and know that sometimes not getting what we think we want is a blessing in disguise.

5. Humble people are cooperative and collaborative and come from an abundant mindset

Humble people are cooperative and collaborative, not competitive, and therefore don’t fall into the trap of fear that considers others as a potential threat, as they are more concerned about bringing their personal best to whomever or whatever they do, and without getting caught up in a toxic, impossible quest for perfectionism. They don’t threaten others, nor do they feel threatened by another’s success, or experience jealousy or envy; in fact they are truly happy for others’ happiness. Humble people do not come from a scarcity mindset, and are happy to share slices of the pie with others because they look at life through a lens of trust, abundance, and possibility, not limitation or a fear of missing out.

6. Humility gives people an ability to accept others and respect differences 

Humility also leads to a more humane and inclusive view of others, encouraging us to be accepting and respectful of differences, and less defensive about our own beliefs or way of seeing and doing things, realizing we can learn from those whom our ego may dismissively judge as not worthy of our time. Humble people never lie to others, and even more importantly, they never lie to themselves, as they know these are the most insidious lies of all. 

7. Humble people are unafraid to say “I don’t know,

Humble people are unafraid to say “I don’t know,” and that asking for help – and getting it – is an act of power that also empowers others to do the same. Humility empowers us to become the best person we can be in every area of our lives, one day at a time, by accepting our imperfect human-ness – and knowing that none of us can ever become perfect. 

8. Humility – is a foundational characteristic of an effective  leader who wants to live mindfully

Humility – in my humble opinion – is the number one characteristic of anyone who wants to lead and live mindfully, whatever his or her sphere of influence is.

9. Humble people don’t have big egos

There is no set or right  way to be humble 
So as mindfulness practitioners, we are all teachers and students, and humility re-minds us that no one way of teaching or learning these awareness and consciousness building skills is better than any other – no particular “brand” of training, or level of academic education, whether someone is a famous teacher or is relatively unknown, or any philosophical, religious or spiritual framework we teach and learn mindfulness within – none is superior to another. No one owns mindfulness, and therefore we humbly trust that the diverse ways it is taught allows the work itself to reach the minds and hearts of anyonewho may benefit. One of the most beautiful aspects of humility is that it keeps our ego in check so that we can never think we are “special” or “more mindful” or “more evolved” than someone else – because if we do allow the ego to mislead us in any of those ways, then we are not humble at all.

Where to from here? 

So take a moment to send forth support and gratitude to all who feel called to serve collective humanity by bringing more light into the world, by doing his or her best to live by more consciously awake and aware example in how they lead every day – in whatever sphere of influence they have.

George Arliss said, “Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life.”

©Suzanne Matthiessen/ICLeadership.net

Posted on May 30, 2019

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