Leadership is a tricky skill to navigate. You’ve got to be forceful enough to take charge of a situation and dictate responsibilities, yet display enough humility that you encourage everyone to work together as a team. In order to accomplish this task so that everyone feels like they are unique and welcome, being humble will be your most important attribute. Humbleness puts the team before your own needs and allows for strengths to be recognized on a consistent basis.
Can You Take Being Humble Too Far?
One of the interesting aspects of a team environment is that people want to feel like they have an individualized input, but are still part of a “hive mind” when it comes to certain decisions. Being too humble and allowing too much uniqueness can actually reduce productivity more than being a dictator would.
It really begins by your ability to share your successes and your failures. By demonstrating your own personal growth, you’re actually encouraging others to follow a similar journey. Failure is the great human equalizer, which means everyone can relate to it in some way. This gives you the opportunity to connect with your team in a personal way that will encourage relationships to be built.
It’s About the Dialogue, Not the Debate
The elements of a team that makes them different is what will make that team stronger. You don’t have to win every argument to be an effective leader. You don’t even need to engage with people to convince them of the validity of your point. If you include all points of view and then make the best decision possible from those viewpoints, you’ll show your team that you’re willing to focus on their agenda instead of your own and that’s an effective way of being humble.
The ultimate goal of this journey is to encourage others to become leaders instead of being willing to just follow your own dynamic leadership. Sometimes that means you’ve got to reverse the roles in place and put others in charge. Placing yourself beneath someone else on the team automatically puts you into a humble position and it is reinforced if you follow the lead of the person you put in charge.
These changes can bring about a lot of uncertainty, however, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you are able to embrace uncertainty and turn it into a teaching moment, what you’re able to do is create a place where others are encouraged to step up to the plate and offer valuable solutions that they might normally hold back. It creates an environment of independence, but fueled by an underlying interdependence that brings everyone together.
Being humble doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make the hard decisions when they come along. It just means that you’re giving your entire team the opportunity to learn from the experience in their own unique way instead of dictating the experience to them. That’s why it is one of the most important traits in all of today’s best leaders.