Shep21's Blog….Leadership, marketing & customer service through the printed words of many

The Necessity of Humility in Leadership January 27, 2010

Filed under: Leadership,Success — shep21 @ 6:30 am

You can find author Michael Hyatt’s entire blog post  at http://tinyurl.com/y8kzzmf

Overconfidence is “the disease of experts.” They think they know more than they actually do know. In fact, they make mistakes precisely because they have knowledge. This is what happened on Wall Street.

The lesson is this: In times of crisis, we think we need leaders who are bold and confident. This is completely wrong-headed. What we really need are leaders who are humble and willing to listen.

As leaders ourselves, how can we avoid becoming overly confident? Three ways:

  1. Listen to those around us. We cannot afford to create a culture that is not safe for dissent. Our people need to feel the freedom to disagree with us and tell us the truth.
  2. Plan for contingencies. We might be right. We might be wrong. We need to accept this and create a plan A and a plan B. We can’t afford to assume that our plans are infallible.
  3. Enlist the help of our team. When organizations are small, they can be run by a single, entrepreneurial leader. But when the organization gets bigger than about 150 people our leadership has to change. It must become a more collective, collaborative effort. (Shep21’s note: No matter how big your organization is…enlist the team and make it a collaborative effort)

The good news is that, as leaders, we can learn. We can grow. But above all, we must remain humble. If we don’t, we risk large-scale, public failures that will have a catastrophic, negative impact on the people we are trying to lead.

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One Response to “The Necessity of Humility in Leadership”

  1. sandy ramirez Says:

    Ken,
    This is some useful information – Wish I had it a year ago and was able to put it into the hands of leadership then.


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