Leadership Trait Humility: Why and How to Build It

As a leader, it’s important to have a variety of traits that will help you be successful. One trait that is often overlooked is humility. Many people think that being humble means being weak or shy, but this is not true.

quote
"I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people."
Nelson Mandela

Humility can be one of the most powerful traits a leader can possess. This blog post will discuss why humility is so important and how you can build it into your leadership style.

What is humility?

Humility is the quality of being modest, respectful, and considerate. It is often considered a virtue linked to characteristics like empathy and compassion.

Famous leaders who had humility

We often think of leaders as being powerful and in control. But many times, the most successful leaders are the ones who are humble.

Here are some famous leaders known for their humility:

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is a business entrepreneur and investor from the United States. He was humble despite being one of the world’s most successful investors and generally regarded as the most influential person in finance.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. Gates had humility when it came to his work and was always willing to listen to others.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a media executive, actress, talk show presenter, television producer, and philanthropist from the United States. Oprah had humility when she started as a news anchor and later became one of the most successful talk show hosts.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the United States' founding fathers. Franklin was humble when it came to his inventions and discoveries. He is known for his many contributions to science, including his work on electricity.

George Washington

George Washington was an American political figure, military commander, and the first President of the United States. Washington was a humble leader who was always willing to listen to others.

Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte was once a humble door-to-door salesman before becoming the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. He is known for his down-to-earth and humble personality.

The importance of humility in leadership

One of the most important things you can do is be humble. It doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much money you have; if you’re not humble, you will never truly be happy.

Top reasons why humility in leadership is important:

Humility boosts your self-esteem

The key to success is confidence. It assists you in improving your performance, reducing stress, and remaining focused. There is, however, a thin line between confidence and overconfidence.

When a person believes that she is the most powerful, capable, and intelligent person in the room, complacency sets in.

In other words, when a person loses her humility, she becomes overconfident and, eventually, unlikable. As a result, confidence and humility go hand in hand; they are not opposed traits.

You gain nothing by being willing to admit that you can be wrong at times. Rather, you gain the trust of others and enable them to contribute valuable information.

In this manner, you may not only gain comments that will help you improve your skills, but you can also make others feel important.

Humility allows you to be more helpful

A person who has humility is more inclined to assist others. Humble individuals do not nurture an ego or maintain a guarded demeanor.

They work better as members of a team. For them, success entails not just self-development but also the development of others.

Social standing, financial well-being, physical strength, or beauty have little impact on their interactions with others. Even when they accomplish great things in life, they remain down-to-earth, humble, courteous, and peaceful.

Humility increases character worth

Some people are born with an abundance of humility, while others have to learn it hard. No matter how you acquired it, humility is an important virtue that will help you succeed professionally and personally.

When you’re humble, people are more likely to be drawn to you and want to work with you. They see you as someone level-headed and able to see both sides of every issue.

Your humility will also shine through how you handle yourself when things don’t go your way. Instead of getting angry or defensive, you stay calm and are willing to listen to what others have to say.

Humility helps in effective self-regulation

Humble individuals are more courteous and compassionate, but they also have more self-control since they always know what they are doing.

A modest individual is concerned with accomplishing personal and organizational objectives. Humble people become better learners and thinkers. Humble individuals may make judgments with more speed and precision than others.

A modest individual will not succumb to pressure. This will assess the situation and choose the best course of action. Such an approach teaches modest individuals to recognize their talents' limits and behave appropriately.

Humility gains you popularity

Being wealthy, powerful, or exceptionally skilled is not what makes a person popular among coworkers, family, friends, and acquaintances.

Humility is what distinguishes someone. A modest individual seems to be a doer. They prefer to maintain a low profile rather than brag about their talents.

This makes the individual more approachable and trustworthy. They gain the trust and respect of their peers via their actions and are not entitled to it.

Humility enables you to become more compassionate and forgiving

When you’re humble, you can see the world through a different lens. Instead of being wrapped up in your problems and successes, you can be more compassionate and loving towards others.

This is because you understand that everyone is fighting their own battles and that no one is perfect.

Humility gains you respect

Respect is something that has to be earned. It’s not given freely, even if you have a title or position of power. The only way to earn respect is to show humility.

When you’re humble, people see that you don’t think you’re better than they are. They also see that you’re willing to listen to others and value their opinions. As a result, they’re more likely to respect you and want to work with you.

How to build humility

One important aspect of humility is to recognize that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

We can learn from anyone, no matter how “superior” they seem. Try to be open to learning new things from the people around you.

Ways to build humility in leadership:

Always be a student

Humble individuals understand that asking questions in your head does not make you weak. It makes you stronger both physically and emotionally.

Demonstrate your want to learn to your coach and give it all. When learning anything new, understanding takes time to develop.

We must never believe that we know everything, and it is not appropriate to ask questions since people would think I am stupid. We must be eager to learn new things at all times. You will gain humility if you regard yourself as a pupil.

Reflect your behavior

If you act badly, it will reflect on you. We must constantly reflect on our actions and see if we can better them the next time. If we have acted arrogantly in front of others, we must strive to better ourselves the following time.

Maintaining a cheerful attitude may elevate you to a higher degree of humility. A successful person always has a diary with them. They reflect on their actions and work to better themselves.

Reduce your ego

This is the primary cause of many individuals getting into difficulty or being trapped in a relationship split. Because they regard their ego more than the person, it becomes harmful, resulting in the breakup of relationships in love, family, friends, etc.

So halt the ego as soon as possible since it cannot be broken quickly once it has grown like a tree. We should discard ego during a conversation because if you talk with ego, you will be unable to hear their words.

Your body language will make them feel like he is not listening, so the opposing member will get furious and cease interacting with you.

Learn to appreciate

Humbleness comes when you start to appreciate what others have done for you and look at the good in them instead of always finding faults. This is not something that can be built in a day, but with continuous effort, you will get there.

When you see someone doing something good, praise them immediately. Do not think that you are belittling yourself by praising others because that is not true. Praising others makes you feel happy and encourages the other person to do better next time.

Seek feedback from others regularly

This is one of the key things you need to do to build humility. You should be open to hearing feedback from others regularly and act upon it instead of getting defensive about it.

Humbleness will help you become a better person in the long run and make you more likable to others. So start working on building humility and see the difference it makes in your life.

Be willing to admit your mistakes

One of the key things you need to build humility is to be willing to admit your mistakes. We all make mistakes, and it’s important to own up to them instead of trying to cover them up or making excuses. This shows that you are humble and willing to learn from your mistakes.

Ask for help when you need it

Another way to build humility is to ask for help when you need it. We can’t do everything on our own, and there’s no shame in admitting that we need help from others. This shows that you are humble and are willing to admit that you don’t know everything.

Bonus: Nelson Mandela explains the importance of humility

Final verdict

That’s why humility is such an important leadership trait. If you want to be an effective leader, you need to learn how to be humble.

Fortunately, it’s a trait that can be learned and developed over time. By making a conscious effort to practice humility, you can become the leader that people want to follow.


About the Author
James has over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. As a founder, he led startup teams as well as million-dollar companies. He has recently turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass his knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments regarding the content of this post, please send us a message via the contact page.
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