Popular traits which leaders usually continuously focus on and nurture include charisma, innovation, vision, enthusiasm, growth hacking, and team building. However, one very important trait which goes underappreciated amongst all these is humility.
The importance of being a humble leader becomes more critical with the growth of the stature of the leader, as at times it may overwhelm the leader with ego and make them obsessed with all the limelight which being a successful leader brings. In such cases, if one misses out at being humble, there could be an adverse impact on the team's working environment and the inspirational figure which a leader should truly be.
However, one should not mistake being humble by taking it as being a dolt. Humility is a strength in itself and it has, over the period of time, been one of the major reasons for many world-class leaders to emerge. Let us have a look at some of the most effective ways in which one could be a more humble leader:
A humble leader recognizes and appreciates the inputs of his team members. A humble leader should be naturally praising the contribution of team members instead of patting his/her own back for personal achievements in the organization.
He/she should promote the culture of acknowledging and praising others in front of all, rather than just waiting to be praised by the entire team for just his/her activities.
A leader who appreciates the fact that any ideas, when discussed with others, bring out the best execution and results tends to be seen as more humble.
A humble leader should reach out to others as well as seek inputs, share facts, and consider their opinion and more while making decisions which are for the team. Everyone wishes to work with those leaders and in those organizations where they see their opinions being valued, rather than being ignored or dismissed right away just because someone else considers themselves to be too big an authority.
A humble leader should always be looking forward to working with the team, rather than just passing directive statements. A team looks forward to a leader for their humbleness when he/she is ready to work with them and not just make the team feel that they are working for him/her. He/she should not see any job as below their pay grade, and be ready to work hand-in-hand with the team.
This also enables the leader to have all the first-hand information of what is needed to be more careful about the working environment and what could make it more facilitating to ensure that a good job is being done with better outputs by the team.
This is a no-brainer, but a humble leader should leave the ego at the door while entering the office premises. He/she should be able to take decisions which will be of benefit to the entire team and the organization. He/she should not treat themselves as bigger than the other team members or the organization.
As a humble leader with no ego, we should be open to admitting our mistakes. After all, even a leader is a human being and humans do make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with accepting a mistake as a leader rather than blaming it on a subordinate. A humble leader with no ego will always take ownership of mistakes and failures, and share the glory of success with the team members.
Simultaneously, a humble leader should be open to taking feedback from peers and subordinates and should look forward to continuously improve themselves without any overwhelming ego.
If a leader is found to be micro-managing, it may deter the morale of the team. As a leader, your responsibility is to recruit efficient people, train them up, and then give them all the independence and freedom to execute their jobs as per the set KPIs. As a humble leader, one should be able to trust the strengths of the team members and let them work with all the ownership for the tasks in hand.
Remember that a humble leader is not only appreciated by his/her team by words but rather the actual appreciation of a humble leader comes out in the form of enhanced productivity and fierce loyalty of the team for him/her.
A self-motivated team willing to work efficiently by choice for a leader differentiates a humble leader from others, and certainly, humble leaders emerge more frequently as effective global leaders because of the team working for them.
Varun Saxena is the Founder of Career Anna.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)