Humble leaders yield better business results

Maxim # 4
Combine excellence with humility

maxim_4To be successful in anything you need to be exceptional in what you do. But when your success is dependent on working with others, you also need to be humble with the people with whom we work.

Humility cannot be faked. It’s one of those transparent human characteristics that is either real or not. Many people like recognition and it takes tremendous strength to be genuinely humble. Humble people realize however that others are far more impressed with their accomplishments if they learn about them over time or through others, rather than be blatantly told about them by the individual.

In business, people expect and want their leaders to be good at what they do, but they don’t want to feel put down in the process. They want to be taught and educated in things they don’t know but they don’t want to be lectured to. Most adults need to feel like they are learning for themselves. Humble leaders don’t try to take credit for all good ideas and demand recognition. They go out of their way to subtlety make others feel successful. They are always willing to listen to what others have to say, even if they are better versed on a topic than the people they are listening to. Humble leaders treat people with respect and dignity, while performing at levels that leaves them admiring.

When reviewing your management team, make note of those that are genuinely humble and those that are not. Chances are, your humble managers have more productive staff, generate better results, and enjoy more success therefore positively impacting your bottom line.


“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.” 

– Diogenes Laertius  (3rd century AD) Greek author of Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers

“Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”  

– Confucius (c. 551-c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher

“The chief executive who knows his strengths and weaknesses as a leader is likely to be far more effective than the one who remains blind to them. He also is on the road to humility – that priceless attitude of openness to life that can help a manager absorb mistakes, failures or personal shortcomings.”

– John Adair (1757-1840) American pioneer in Kentucky, governor 1820-24, congress