Being a lifelong resident of “The Land of Lincoln” my wife and I finally made a trip to the Capitol of Illinois. There, in the heart of Illinois, in the city of Springfield, is the Lincoln Museum, and the Lincoln Library. We weren’t in the museum for more than 10 minutes before I became overwhelmed with the history and intrigued by the leadership style of one of our greatest presidents.
Lincoln was a simple man of simple means. There were hundreds of stories about his life and the personal and professional challenges he faced, but the thread that wove its way through each and every story was the humility of Lincoln. Humility…an attribute not seen in many of our leaders today yet desperately needed.
There are some who would contend that humility is not necessarily a trait which comes to mind for great leaders. In fact, some would argue that humility is more of a weakness than a strength as a leader must show a backbone, be confident, almost arrogant to get ahead. On the other hand, some would contend that it takes strength to be humble.
Consider the benefits of humble leadership by:
1. Being open to opinions different from your own. Humble leaders not only listen, but SEEK views from all sides making decisions based on the best interest of the organization.
2. Putting others first. Research clearly indicates that performance is much higher when members of an organization believe that their leader is truly looking out for their best interests, that they genuinely care, and that the leader is doing everything in his power to ensure members have what is needed to get the job done well.
3. Admitting mistakes. NO ONE IS PERFECT…admit your mistakes and LEARN from them…move forward…do make excuses.
4. Accepting ambiguity as you can’t control everything. Sometimes you simply don’t have enough information to make good decisions…ask more questions…seek the advice of others.
5. Self-reflecting is imperative to gauge your humility as it doesn’t come easy to most of us.
6. Trusting people to do their jobs as micromanaging kills morale and isn’t very humble.
7. Remembering the words of old Abe himself when he said, “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of it.”
Be good to yourself…