A deliberate practice of staying humble is a source of power for any leader. As achievements, expertise, and experience mount, it’s not uncommon for self-assurance to evolve into swagger. Yet a pattern of arrogance or pride, even in tiny doses, tends to turn people off—distancing you from others, and de-motivating even your high performers. Humility means putting your ego in check, and letting go of the need to appear “on top of everything” or “buttoned up” when that’s not the day you're having. People need to know you’re human too, which goes a long way to building the loyalty and mutual respect needed for a high-performing leader and team.
- Consider what triggers your arrogance, ego, or sense of pride to show itself to colleagues or those working for you.
- Once triggered, and it surfaces, what does it look like? How do people around you react to it?
- What would it take for you to practice humility in such situations, and what would be the benefit and downside of doing so?
Based on client experiences / lessons learned, our weekly LeaderTips have been offering self-coaching themes and topics of interest to leaders since 2004. They are often published in BusinessWeek Online, sent weekly to our clients, and hundreds of other corporate leaders worldwide. I invite you to forward them to others, who are also welcome to subscribe using the link below. Note that over 100 of these tips appear in my book, Beyond Effective: Practices in Self-aware Leadership. Click here to subscribe to LeaderTips via email.