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Humility in High Places

Humble Leadership is in High Demand

Humble – not proud or arrogant; modest

Humility – the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Humility is variously seen as the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective and respect for one’s place in context. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, often in contrast to narcissism, hubris and other forms of pride.

Research in the January 2014 issue of the Administrative Science Quarterly found that managers who exhibit traits of humility—such as seeking feedback and focusing on the needs of others—resulted in better employee engagement and job performance.

Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.

Etymology of Humility – The term “humility” comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, “from the earth”, or “low”, since it derives in turns from humus (earth).

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble. –  John Madden

A humble leader is secure enough to recognize his or her weaknesses and to seek the input and talents of others. By being receptive to outside ideas and assistance, creative leaders open up new avenues for the organization and for their employees. – Forbes Magazine

“Leaders of all ranks view admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability as being at the core of humble leadership,” says Bradley Owens, assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University at Buffalo School of Management. “And they view these three behaviors as being powerful predictors of their own as well as the organization’s growth.”  – Academy of Management Journal

Jim Collins, who has spent the past 30 years trying to understand how some companies are able to sustain superlative performance argues that the key ingredient that allows a company to become great is having a Level 5 leader: an executive in whom genuine personal humility blends with intense professional will.

Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success. –  Rick Pitino

According to a study from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, humble people tend to make the most effective leaders (that’s right, the most) and are more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings, according to associate professor Michael Johnson.

Some people are so wrapped up in the notion that leaders are supposed to know everything that they fail to study and understand their strengths and weaknesses. They fall into the trap of trying to lead an organization in an evolving world without actually evolving themselves. They make decisions based on old knowledge, assumptions and habits. They fall into a rut and wind up repeating past mistakes and missing key opportunities. –   Leroy McCarty

Google’s SVP of People Operations, Lazlo Bock, says humility is one of the traits he’s looking for in new hires. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.” And it is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock—it’s “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.”

Humble Pie – humility forced upon someone, often under embarrassing conditions; humiliation.

You know what keeps me humble? Mirrors! – Phyllis Diller