Wait, what? How can you be humble and proclaim your greatness?
Isn’t this a contradiction?
No, it is not.
Am I encouraging people to randomly and without solicitation proclaim their greatness to everyone in earshot?
No, no one cares to hear that.
But does humility really mean we cannot think we are the best at something, or at least really good?
No, I do not believe this to be true either. So, what am I getting at? Let us look at a couple of definitions first:
- Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
- (Of an action or thought) offered with or affected by a modest estimate of one’s own importance.
Great people who modestly estimate their importance, but believe they are great, offer humility to the world in a very specific way. They are open to hearing the ideas of others and are not locked into the narrative that their way of doing things is the only way, or even the best way.
Again, it sounds contradictory, and maybe it is a little. But the intent here is to remind everyone that they can feel like they have the best idea, product, method, or whatever. But great people become great because they are always open to another idea or way of thinking to become even better.
Are You Showing Humility?
Run the drill on yourself for a week or so. How often are you locking in to a way of doing things and not considering another possibility? Take a look at your morning routine, how you engage with people, how you dress, how you eat, how you exercise, when you wake up or go to bed, what you read…the list goes on and on.
Are you showing humility by not only being open to, but actively seeking a better way to do things in any aspect of your life? What excuses are you giving yourself to not be humble in this way?
And do not kid yourself by proclaiming, “I’m no good at this,” is humility. That is just negative self-talk. The desire to recognize and be open to new opportunities for growth is humility.
Great leaders believe in themselves. Great leaders believe in their way of doing things. Great leaders believe they are leading the greatest team on earth. But what really makes them great is their ability and desire to find a better way. AKA, their humility.
Now, be a leader and go search for a better way!
Errol Doebler is the founder of Leader 193, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Leader 193 to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.A