What Does Humble Leadership Look Like?

Researchers led at University at Buffalo School of Management by Bradley Owens asked 16 CEOs, 20 mid-level , and 19 front-line from assorted organizations (military, manufacturing, health care, financial services, retailing, and religious) to describe in detail how humble performs in the workplace. This study showed that humble :

  1. lead by example
  2. admit their and
  3. recognize their followers’ strengths.

who are more open and empathetic with those they lead are better positioned to build their team. Those who are open with those they lead are better liked and are more effective.

In further defining an effective humble Ron Edmondson, a Church planter and pastor, gives these 10 characteristics:

  1. Dangerous Trust – Humility always demands a certain level of trust. A humble is willing to take a risk on others, trusting them with the sacredness of the , even at the chance they may be disappointed with the outcome.
  2. Sincere Investment – Humble leaders know the is bigger and will last longer than they will, so they willingly invest in others, raising up and maturing new leaders.
  3. Gentle, but Strong – One can’t be a and be weak. Every position of will provide a challenge to the , but humble leaders have learned the balance between being gentle and remaining strong. (Think Jesus!)
  4. Readily Admits – Everyone makes . In fact, we often learn more through failure than through . The humble leader is quick to admit when he or she has done wrong and deals with the fault-out without casting blame or making excuses.
  5. Forgives easily is filled with disappointment; often at the expense of other’s mistakes. A humble leader forgives easily, remembering how many times he or she has been forgiven.
  6. Quickly diverts attention – We all like to be recognized for accomplishments, but a humble leader is quick to divert attention to others, sharing the limelight for successes with those, who many times, may have even had more to do with the than the leader did. They celebrate the of others louder than personal
  7. Remains thankful – A humble leader is appreciative of the input of others into his or her leadership. So much so, that a humble leader naturally praises the actions of others far more than the time spent patting themselves on the back for personal accomplishments. Humble leaders recognize that all good gifts come from above.
  8. Recognizes Limitations – No one can do everything. A humble leader has the ability to say, “I can’t do that or I’m not the one who should”.
  9. Shares authority – Humble leaders don’t take all the key assignments for themselves, but gives out prime responsibility and authority to people he or she is leading.
  10. Invites feedback – A humble leader wants to learn from his or her mistakes and wants to continually see improvement. Humble leaders initiate other’s suggestions and feedback, not waiting until complaints come, but personally asking for the input.

Ron Edmondson concludes this list of 1o by saying that, “Humility is not putting yourself down as a leader. It’s ultimately recognizing who you are in view of Christ and others.”

Dale Roach

Who is Dale Roach?

About Dale Roach

Dale is the creator of "Like A Team." He has been working with businesses, charity organizations, volunteer groups and church groups in the development of teamwork for over 25 years. The goal of "Like A Team" is to help share the knowledge and skills of healthy team creators across the planet.
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