We have all been around leaders who are confident. Confidence inspires trust and it is important to trust those who are in charge. If that confidence is based on an accurate and positive self-image and a track record of success, we feel we can follow that leader. However, there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. This is where humility comes in.

Humility shows up in your attitudes and decisions. You can be confident in your abilities as a leader and still be humble, and people will love you for it and will follow your leadership. Humility can be developed and nurtured and then communicated in healthy ways.

The first step to developing the character trait of humility is to have an accurate view of one’s self.

The first step to developing the character trait of humility is to have an accurate view of one’s self. Our view of ourselves is based on the context in which we see ourselves. If we think we are smarter than anyone else and better at everything and can do everything all on our own, we are headed for trouble. Trying to project humility when we are not humble will not work. An accurate and humble view of ourselves is based on several things.

  1. Remembering the hard work and tough lessons that got us where we are today. 
  2. Appreciating the contributions of others to our success.
  3. Stepping back and looking at the world as the vast and awe-inspiring place it is.
  4. Acknowledging the reality of the God who created us and the world around us.

Humility also leads to curiosity. If we think we know everything we will not be hungry to learn and grow. Leaders of Impact are life-long learners. They know that, even though they may know a lot and even be an expert in their field, they have a lot to learn. Leaders of Impact integrate their lives, challenging themselves and others to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually. The opposite of this is to compartmentalize, developing one area and neglecting the others.

Here are a few things to try:

  1. Remember when you were starting out and what it took to get you where you are today.
  2. If you are just starting out as a leader, pay attention to all you are learning and capture it by journaling about your leadership growth.
  3. Ask a lot of questions, not assuming you know the answers. This is especially important in global or cross-cultural contexts.
  4. Give credit to others and appreciate them publicly and privately. 
  5. And, of course, sign yourself and others up for our Global LeaderImpact Summit coming up in November. Humble leaders keep learning and growing, and they take others along on the journey.


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