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09/10/2013

6 ways to develop humility as a leader.

How can you as a leader develop humility, and be a better leader? Here are six ways you can do it;

1. Know what you don’t know.
Resist “master of the universe” impulses. You may yourself excel in an area, but as a leader you are, by definition, a generalist. Rely on those who have relevant qualification and expertise. Know when to defer and
delegate.

2. Resist falling for your own publicity.
We all do it: whether we’re writing a press release or a self-appraisal, we put the best spin on our success — and then conveniently forget that the reality wasn’t as flawless. Drinking in the glory of a triumph can be energizing. Too big a drink is intoxicating. It blurs vision and impairs judgment.

3. Never underestimate the competition.
You may be brilliant, ambitious, and audacious. But the world is filled with other hard-working, high-IQ, and creative professionals. Don’t kid yourself that they and their innovations aren’t a serious threat.

4. Embrace and promote a spirit of service.
Employees quickly figure out which leaders are dedicated to helping them succeed, and which are scrambling for personal success at their expense. Customers do, too.

5. Listen, even (no, especially) to the weird ideas.
Only when you are not convinced that your idea is or will be better than someone else’s do you really open your ears to what they are saying. But there is ample evidence that you should: the most imaginative and valuable ideas tend to come from left field, from some associate who seems a little offbeat, and may not hold an exalted position in the organization.

6. Be passionately curious.
Constantly welcome and seek out new knowledge, and insist on curiosity from those around you. Research has found linkages between curiosity and many positive leadership attributes (including emotional and social intelligence). Take it from Einstein. “I have no special talent,” he claimed. “I am only passionately curious.”
We can’t imagine that an individual exposed to the six principles above and encouraged to take them to heart could become anything but a better leader.

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