Leadership in Humility

| September 11, 2021


Today’s leaders face innumerable challenges that previous generations never confronted such as:

  • employee disengagement,
  • cloud-based speed of commerce,
  • political correctness,
  • cultural diversity,
  • social sensitivities and a
  • hyper-focus on efficiency,
  • and much more

Pressure to succeed now is higher than ever and we expect to succeed fast, super fast!

Leaders know they must have an A-game, and they continually encounter methods that experts claim will improve proficiencies.

Humility, however, is an often-overlooked character trait that flies in the face of culturally accepted leadership norms. It may, in fact, be the most powerful attribute a leader can have to engage and inspire people. Leaders dream of motivated teams, yet many try to develop them in all the wrong ways. We have all communicated poorly and been frustrated in our leadership roles. Often the leadership default is intimidation. Have you ever said, “Just do it because I said so?” Sounds like some of the worst parenting moments.

Humility is a best way to connect with people and to create the pathway for effective communication. It is certainly how we start in our communication with God which is fairly easy, since God is God and I am not. However, God warns us in James 4 that we are to be humble in all areas of life not just the vertical relationship for “God opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble.” In Ephesians 4:2 we are encouraged to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” That “one another” part is important and certainly includes the workplace.

When you think about humility and leadership how does it work out in your leadership?

I see it often humility as a challenge in the process of employee development. I also see humility as a hurdle in the interactions of leadership teams.

There are many specific ways to build your humility muscle. Did you know you have a humility muscle? Try making a declaration to those closest, start conversations with a humble statement of identification in an employee conversation and the most importantly make humility a specific part of your prayers.




This article was originally published in Work & Life Balance Business Coaching, © 2021, used by permission.  More information is available at moleadershipcoaching.com/

Category: Management

About the Author ()

Email | Website | Marc Ottestad is a classic "activator." He had had separate careers in business and Christian leadership development. He was the managing partner at Convene for 15 years and president of ProSound & Stage Lighting for 10 years, which he grew from a team of 4 to over 100. His present focus is in business partnerships and closely held family companies, through MO Leadership to ignite leadership that is motivated with momentum towards excellence and a closer walk with Jesus.