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Humility – Show me; don’t tell me.

During the discussion on traits and characteristics of great leaders in the Dare to Be Great leadership workshops, humility is almost always one of the traits on people’s lists. I would concur with the importance of humility as a leader.

I have listened to a few interviews with people in leadership positions who continually talk about how great they are, how their product or service is the best (and it may be), how no one else is doing what they are doing and what most other people are doing is crap. During the interview they take brief pauses in their self-aggrandizing rants to talk about how important humility is to them and how humble they are.

If you have to explain to people that you are humble, there is a problem.

If you have to use qualifiers like, “It may not sound like it, but”, or “You might not believe this, but”, or any other qualifying statement, there is a problem.

I have also listened to some highly accomplished leaders who would have every reason to brag about their accomplishments, who demonstrate their humility in their language and actions. They do not have to tell people humility is a value of theirs; they simply live it.

Humility is important for leaders. Humility however, is best expressed in your language, your actions and your interactions with others. When it comes to humility, show me don’t tell me.

Remember that leadership is a choice and a journey and it starts with you. Choose well, keep learning and enjoy the journey. The Dare to Be Great: Strategies for Creating a Culture of Leading online workshop was created for aspiring leaders and frontline leaders to help you on your leadership journey.

Brian Willis