Friday, 16 August 2013

Humility in Leadership

I recently concluded a two day leadership training for a group of top managers.

One of the participants caught my eye. His name was Warren. Warren is the Senior Vice President of the company. He is funny, witty and humble. As he introduced himself, he shared with us his story. He started as a working student. He persevered, worked hard and was determined to become successful. All this paid off as he now holds the rank of the 3rd most powerful man in the company.

Even though he was in the same training as his subordinates, he was always humble enough to acknowledge the mistakes that he has made as a leader. His zeal to become a better one was apparent. He kept an open mind through out the whole training, asking questions when things were not clear and voicing out his opinion when needed. His people spoke highly of him and were thankful for his leadership. It was evident how he was loved by all.

I have trained a lot of leaders that hold middle to high ranking positions and I sometimes get intimidated when I am in front of them.  I see one thing in common (in most of them):   the humility to continuously keep an open mind and learn new things. To assess themselves and see what are the areas they are good at and the areas they need to improve on and most of all the readiness to learn from someone who is younger with lesser experience than them.

No wonder these leaders are where they are at right now because they are humble enough to realize that they may not have all the answers.

I believe the minute you decide to stop learning and feel that you know it all is the end of your opportunity to move forward and moving forward is the direction great leaders take.

Imagine what you can become when you lead with a humble heart.

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