3 Ways Leaders become Humble

By | March 9, 2018

[March 9, 2018]  Tim Tebow once told his fans about what helped him in his successful career as a professional football player; he told them that “We have to humble ourselves and the way you do that is by serving other people.”  We know, for leaders in a modern world, the path to success is to follow the traits of being humble in all that we do.

There are many ways that leaders can become humble and stay that way.  However, there will be leaders who will never make the leap to humbleness and that is to be expected.  It does not prevent them or anyone from adopting such a leader traits.  It must be recognized historically that humility is the basic trait of all great leaders.  As such, it is a professional philosophy that can carry us far.

“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 (aka The Rock), American actor, producer, and semi-retired professional wrestler

The first and most important step in becoming humble is to care more about others.  Only then can a leader truly take care of people; to make them successful by growing their skills and abilities.  We are told that one of the inherent responsibilities of a good leader is to grow other leaders.  That action, taking care of people and growing leaders, is so fundamental that no other way can be achieved to be humble without it.

The second way to humbleness is to care less about yourself and your success.  Of course, it doesn’t mean you don’t care at all about yourself.  But it simply means to recognize that you are not better than others, that you have no moral authority over others, that what you do is outwardly focused, and that you should expect no external rewards.  Narcissists will have a difficult time with this step.

The third way to be a humble leader is to find another leader who can act as your mentor; a leader that is so obviously humble that it is impossible not to identify humbleness as the reason he is so successful.  Role models are an efficient and effective way to pick up on the details of how to act and think.  Observation of such a person is helpful; following in their footsteps is best.

To be humble means to consciously work to adopt both the habits of such a person (see my comments on that here) and the belief system that one cares for others and acts accordingly.  Humble leaders lead by example; this is where you learn how to be surprisingly successful.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

6 thoughts on “3 Ways Leaders become Humble

  1. Vickey

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  2. Joey Holmes

    I like your blog. I am 15 years old and live in Melbourne Australia. Some day I will write an article for you. Cheers!

  3. Jonathan B.

    Good posting and spot-on comments. I would like to add that being humble means the opposite of narcissism. I think today more and more people are less and less humble. I think it’s because we are taught from kindergarten that we are special and wonderful and the best person in the world and everybody loves us. Actually this is not true but we believe it.

  4. Army Captain

    I would say this is a trend. Was it started by U.S. Army General Tommy Franks (famous for his command during the First Gulf War)? Or was this just trending anyway? I think that the West encourages senior leaders to be the most humble; something not found in socialist or communist nations.

    1. Anita

      I’m always interested in what our military personnel have to say about leadership and on this topic – being humble – so thanks for your comments. Many year ago I was a Marine lance corporal and while I never went to war it was a time that I would never give up. Thank you Army Captain.

  5. Yusaf from Texas

    More and more leaders today are less and less humble. I personally don’t associate with folks who are not humble – at least in a major way – and that is why I live a satisfied life. My bosses in the past violated this basic rule and I hated it.

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