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A Call For Humility In Leadership

Source | | Cha Tekeli

We are living in an age where companies are in endless pursuit of “great leaders.” Businesses and thought leaders have made the distinction between managing and leading. It is the latter that remains elusive, like a unicorn that companies need to find and cultivate. Great leadership, it seems, has so many facets, so many potential variations, that what constitutes a great leader can’t be nailed down, let alone agreed upon.

In our ever-changing times, leaders need to be agile and responsive while thinking ahead. At the same time, they need to recognize that the furious pace is causing their employees to feel overwhelmed, stressed and burned out. So what enables great leaders to motivate and inspire their people, creating an engaged and productive workplace?

My view? It may be surprising. I believe humility is the trait that offers the most potential for great leadership because it offers an opportunity for different futures. Let me explain.

Power seems to favor the authoritative leader today: one who demonstrates more aggressive, dynamic, persuasive actions and behaviors. They are applauded for being bold, opinionated, decisive. Positive traits, to be sure, but they also have a downside.

Leaders like this often make quick decisions based on limited information. They don’t want to take a deep dive to examine the root of your problem. They don’t have the time to help you. They just expect you to do your job well — all the time. Often, these leaders push their own styles on you, expecting you to do things their way.

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