The most potent leadership trait is humility. Humility is not the diminishment of oneself. Humility is the act of subordinating oneself to something higher or better.
For you, the company leader, the “something higher” is the purpose of the company. When you subordinate your wants to the company purpose, it provides a powerful example of humility to the entire company and its stakeholders. When you become a role model of humility, it infects the organization.
- If you put the purpose before your wants, how can anyone else presume the right to do differently?
- If you are disciplined enough not to let your “new ideas” pull the company off purpose, it will galvanize the organization’s focus and keep it from wandering.
- If the values you offer support the company’s purpose, it provides the ingredients for a culture that others can join to fulfill that purpose.
- If your communications consistently point to the purpose as the reason WHY it creates a blueprint for everyone’s decision making and facilitates empowerment.
When you are consistent in being humble, making it a daily practice, the purpose becomes tribal. It becomes everyone’s raison d’etre. And as the leader, you become its role model. The key is to remain humble.
This is how humility works and spreads, putting others before you by leading them toward a higher purpose.
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“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
― CS Lewis