Charles, a senior-level coaching client, told me that early in his career, his mentor advised him to be smart enough to be humble, versus proving how smart he is.
No matter the job level of the person he’s interacting with, Charles’ mode of operation is always to be collegial and collaborative.
Here are the principles that guide his behavior and his leadership style:
- He works with people versus them working for him.
- He demonstrates respect for everyone’s point of view, even when he disagrees.
- He looks to learn something from everyone, even if it’s simply what their interests and passions are.
- To make space for others to share what they know, he often asks, “What do you think?” “What does your experience say we should do in this case?”
Charles’ smart-enough-to-be-humble leadership style helps the people in his organization feel valued. They’re also not afraid to be open and honest when interacting with him. In today’s business climate, where innovation and creativity are required, keeping the lines of communication flowing is critical because you never know from where that next great business idea will come.
Are you smart enough to be humble?