Let’s look at one definition from yourdictionary.com.

“Humility is the quality of being humble and means putting the needs of another person before your own and thinking of others before yourself.

It also means not drawing attention to yourself, and it can mean acknowledging that you are not always right.”

An example they offer is about a cricket coach from India.

“After India won the ICC U-19 cricket World Cup, coach Rahul Dravid was offered a cash prize of Rs. 50lakh (5 Million) for coaching the team.

He rejected the prize, saying that it was far more than what the players and support staff were offered.  He wanted everyone to be awarded equally. “  Is this humility at its best?

Authentic humility in a leadership role does not need to look like the example given above of Coach Rahul Dravid.  In our experience, it is noticed and appreciated, however, when leaders demonstrate the qualities of humility in their own unique and authentic way.

Some tell us that humility in business is a sign of weakness and can simply be a leader who desires to “be liked” more than “be effective.”

Again, based on our experience, we have to disagree.

What are some of the qualities and behaviors we see when working with leaders who practice humility?

Let’s take a look.  Leaders who practice humility:

Stop talking and share the airspace

Give other people credit

Admit when they are wrong or have made a mistake

Don’t draw attention to themselves

Go last instead of the expected 1st

Ask for feedback and advice; seeing feedback as their friend

Know and own they didn’t get where they’re at on their own

Praise others

Volunteer inside and outside of their organization

Let’s now go back to the question of leaders practicing humility at the C-Suite level.  Can you name a leader in your organization who demonstrates practicing humility?  When you read the list of qualities and behaviors of leaders who practice humility, do you think you would like to work with and follow this type of leader?

In an age of arrogance and self-promotion, we raise this question for you and your business.  No wrong or right answer required.  Let’s think about it!