I'm always asked, 'What's the secret to success?' But there are no secrets. Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room. Dwayne Johnson
At times it seems that self-importance has become the norm in our society. Posing for selfies on social media, acting out through road rage on our streets, and general rude behavior are all examples of an inflated sense of self. Many people believe that a combination of narcissism and charisma make for an interesting person and in many cases a great leader. For me, the opposite is true and being humble is a characteristic that I find attractive in people. In fact, I’m more apt to respect a boss who is humble and unassuming because the environment they create becomes more collaborative.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who admires humbleness. One of the biggest country hits of the past few years is Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” written by Lori McKenna who recently became the first woman to win Songwriter of the Year at the ACM awards. McKenna, not your typical Southerner, is a Bostonian who is one of country music’s best writers, having written or co-written songs for Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Little Big Town over the years. As a mother to five children, she claims the song is a list of lessons she wanted to share with her children.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, research is clear: that humble leaders can improve the performance of a company in the long run. In many cases, these types of leaders have a strong appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, while being open to new ideas and feedback. Another study showed that a leader’s humility can be contagious: with followers emulating their modest attitude and behavior.
A favorite quote of mine from John Madden, former football coach and NFL broadcaster sums up my feelings about how we all should conduct ourselves:
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.