Humility In Business

vs. arrogance

Recognizing the people and factors that have shaped my life

To practice Humility I will:

  • give credit to others
  • admit mistakes
  • ask for help when I need it
  • realize my way is not the only way
  • think of myself less often

“Humility Leads to Enduring Success”
-Jill Tomey

Humility is not valued in today’s culture of self-branding, self-marketing and the importance placed on “likes” and “follows”. Humility is often associated with a lack of self-confidence and the opposite of power. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You only need to look at the headlines of business leaders and politicians who have been ousted or spending time in jail because they thought they were entitled to more than their fair share.

In her book, The 10 Laws of Enduring Success, Maria Bartiromo sought to discover the qualities that not only contribute to success but made that success last. She has interviewed countless people from all walks of life, both those who had that elusive, enduring success and those whose empires toppled due to too much self-esteem and not enough humility. In her chapter on Humility, she says, “Humility is one of the most important elements of success.” She says of the humble successful people she has interviewed that “their success stories have one thing in common: a respect for their place in the world, an appreciation of where they came from, and an understanding that success can be attributed to many things, not the least of which is luck.”

She names several behaviors that lead to humility. She advises you to stop trying to be perfect and embrace your humanity and your failures. People respond to authenticity even if you make mistakes. Laughing at yourself helps to not take yourself too seriously. When you are over-confident, it’s hard to laugh at yourself. She cautions about believing your own press releases. Those who maintain humility are best able to weather the storms so stay grounded. If you participate in the One-of-a-kind syndrome, you will begin to think of yourself as indispensable. Leaders, who suffer from this, do not think of the person who will follow them and often do not have solid succession plans. Her last advice is to practice modesty and be grateful. It’s important to recognize and appreciate the work of others in your successes to keep from losing your humility.

This month, practice Humility by looking for opportunities to be grateful and appreciate others.