“Humble leader” is not a term that we hear much about in our world today – at least not in the headlines. But they’re out there.

Somewhere along the way we’ve accepted the idea that humility is a weakness. We promote the bravado of the chest-pounding, loud, over-the-top kind of leader who draws attention to himself or herself. The problem is that these leaders tend to be tough to follow. They can be harsh and demanding. Many are narcissistic, only focusing on how they can advance themselves. They may be successful, but at a high cost to those around them.

There’s a better way to lead. The way of the humble leader may not be recognized publicly, but is respected and honored privately. Humble leaders gain loyal followers. They see humility as a strength because of the restraint that is required.

Here are 6 characteristics of this rare, valuable quality:


1 – They view followers as teammates.

Humble leaders are leery of hierarchy and elevating themselves above others. They want a team, not minions who do their bidding out of fear.

2 – They serve their people.

Humble leaders look out for the best interest of their people and organizations, even if it personally costs them. They see and meet needs as they can. They think of others more than they think of themselves.

3 – They don’t seek notoriety and fame.

Humble leaders must step into the spotlight at times, but they do it in a way that is intentional and respectable. Being humble doesn’t mean you shrink back and avoid making difficult decisions. It simply means that HOW you lead matters as much (or more) than what you do. They don’t seek to be noticed.

4 – They listen to the ideas and opinions of their followers.

Humble leaders consider the perspectives of others. They realize they don’t see everything clearly or accurately. They recognize they don’t hear from everyone in their organizations on a regular basis so they trust their inner circle to listen on their behalf and report back.

5 – They lead with compassion.

Humble leaders truly care about their people. They want the best for them. They encourage them to grow. They view others’ success as part of their success.

6 – They make personal growth a priority.

Humble leaders know that if they’re not growing they aren’t able to help others grow. They understand that investing in themselves is not just for themselves, but also for the sake of those they lead. They recognize that you can’t give what you don’t have.

Will you join the ranks of the humble leaders?

While we may not see many humble leaders making headlines, they are making a difference in the lives of those they lead. They are creating better work environments and communities. They are helping the harsh world become a better place. We need more humble leaders for the sake of a better future. Will you commit to being a humble leader? I hope you will.

Make today GREAT!


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