Many of the greatest leaders of all time have lead by being in service to others. I can think of a handful off of the top of my head—Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha and the Dalai Lama are all examples of humble world leaders. Of course, many, many others can be named, across all different walks of life from entertainers, to business men and women. And possibly as a ‘side-effect’ to their meekness, many of these leaders have inspired followers by the droves. So for me, it is easy to see why it’s important to be gentle in your approach. Today, I’d like to talk about the 10 traits of a humble leader.
There is a show that I watch here in the United States called MasterChef. It is a show in which novice chefs or hopefuls compete for the ultimate prize, a chance at a cash prize and a published cook book. Now, being quite a cooking nerd myself, I really enjoy this show. But every season there seems to be at least one contestant who is rather full of himself (or herself) and is essentially vilified by the rest of the cast for their arrogance. These competitors ostracize themselves from the rest of the contestants.
Then there are the few that compete that humbly submit to the concept of service before ego; humility in the face of accomplishment. Staging and show editing aside, the arrogant contestants always seem to lose out to the humble ones in the end. Such is the way in all walks of life. Eventually, the person who projects and adopts an unpretentious attitude wins others over. In my mind, I liken humility to flexibility and arrogance to rigidness.
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
So let’s explore some qualities of an unassuming nature, shall we?
However, before we proceed, please view this video featuring John Dickson on the key to leadership:
10 Traits of a Humble Leader:
- Keeps ego out of the situation
- Seeks input from others
- Acknowledges the contributions of others
- Treats all beings with respect
- Is gracious in the face of public adulation
- Is self-effacing
- Embraces growth and always seeks change for the better
- Is not arrogant or boastful
- Practices reverent gratitude
- Thinks ‘what can I do to serve’
I can speak with some authority on the subject of humility and what kind of magic it can bring to one’s life. You see, for a period of time, while I was what I’ll call ‘asleep,’ I was operating my life out of a place of arrogance. Everything I did in my life was self-serving. And as we all know, the energy you put out into the Universe, you get back tenfold. So by living my life this way, I attracted to my life people and circumstances that mirrored back to me my prideful attitude. What happened as a consequence of my actions is that I was placed in a life circumstance that quickly taught me the importance of being humble—I was homeless without a penny to my name with a young child in tow. Thankfully, this experience was enough of a wakeup call for me to analyze my actions and intentions in my life and incorporate an attitude of gratitude and a soul of service to others.
Humility is not cowardice. Meekness is not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers.
So what is the moral of the story? True strength resides in being meek. Those who are truly inspired are modest in their approach with others. It is in gentleness that one can communicate firmness. And if you truly seek to inspire others, to lead others in the way of true centeredness; it is important for you to be an example of humbleness in action.
Charlotte “Char” Piper is a blogger, entrepreneur, creative spirit, wife and mother. Her passions include holistic health and wellness, as well as coaching and mentoring others on living a life of balance. She is the main contributor to LifeAndWorkInBalance.com, a blog she and her husband, Bill started to aid people in living lives of financial freedom through health and wellness. In her free time, Char can be found reading, dancing wildly, cooking, spending time with family and of course, writing.