[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.