Why is humility such a highly desired leadership trait?
Written by: Harvey Deutschendorf
When we think of some great leaders, humility may not come to the top of how we would describe them. The bigger-than-life leaders such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates would likely be described as visionary, bold, and charismatic. Yet, if we look more closely, we find leaders like Richard Branson, who is humble and laid back. A survey of computer product firms published in the Journal of Management found that humble leaders resulted in higher-performing teams, better collaboration, and flexibility.
Other research has found that humble leaders are better listeners, more flexible, and inspire greater teamwork. Millennials make up over a third of the U.S. labor force and are changing the way we view leadership. The authoritarian leadership style is out, as is the flashy, ego-driven, self-serving, attention-seeking type. What is vogue is the servant type of leader, humble, collaborative, and driven by the well-being of the staff and the organization in service of the greater good. As millennials are not afraid to leave jobs when they are not feeling fulfilled and appreciated, organizations are paying more attention to the type of leadership they thrive in.
Here are seven reasons that humble leaders are increasingly sought after.
1. Do not abuse their authority.
We have all heard horror stories of power-hungry, status-seeking leaders and their damage to those under them and ultimately to the organization. Humble leaders see themselves more as coaches and mentors, always looking for ways to encourage others and bring out the best in them. Instead of keeping authority and control, they look for ways to delegate and allow others to take on and expand their leadership potential.
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