We talk to leaders all the time about this truth: Leadership shapes human lives, and for that reason, it is sacred work.
As leaders, we have the unbelievable privilege and responsibility to impact and shape the lives of those we lead. We have the ability to see their giftedness and create pathways to develop it. We have strategic influence to open doors and make introductions.
When the whirlwind swirls around us and we become caught up in the minutia of our day-to-day responsibilities, it can become tempting to disregard one of the most difficult (but important) truths about leadership: It’s not about me.
It’s possible that the single most important character trait of a leader is humility. It’s the ability to develop self-awareness that is assured of what you bring to the table, but not focused on amplifying your own opportunities. Instead, it’s employing your influence, your strengths, your wisdom for the benefit of others.
Today, I want to invite you into cultivating that aspect of your leadership. How do you cultivate humility while still leading with strength?
1. Hold your tongue.
Even if you know the answer to the question being poised, even if everyone in the room is looking to you to provide the decision, you don’t have to be the first to speak. When you hold your tongue, you allow others to speak up and add their unique perspective. You allow them to practice and hone their leadership instincts in an environment that can also include coaching and feedback.
2. Open doors.
Is there someone in your organization who would benefit from being invited into a mentor relationship, and you know the perfect introduction to make? Are you having lunch soon with someone in your network who could encourage or challenge one of your team members? Is there an upcoming project that an emerging leader from your company could be the co-leader on? It won’t take much of your time to make a connection or extend an invitation, but it could be a life-changing moment for the one you invite.
3. Utilize other voices.
When you utilize other voices to develop your team, you are telling them that you don’t think you know best. Yours isn’t the only voice they can trust. Recommend books and podcasts. Feature guest speakers. Don’t reinvent the wheel; instead, use quality resources that already exist.
Humble leadership is contagious. As you practice it, those you lead will also catch it. It is an organizational culture game changer.
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
For more resources on leadership be sure to check out the 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership Course. It’s a perfect onboarding companion, team development discussion starter, or leadership refresher for those at any level of leadership.