Leading with humility

It doesn’t take a great leader or person to rule with an iron fist. The true jewels among us in the leadership community are those that are able to simultaneously deliver results and create an unparalleled environment for their teams. Learning to lead with humility is a surefire way to keep your team happy, unified, and productive. Here are 5 thoughts to keep in mind to successfully lead with humility.

1. Separate yourself from the vision

We all have passionate views about our workplaces. Often, this passion is why we are in positions of leadership, to begin with! However, you must remember that your company’s vision is the idea that all employees are working toward, from the founder to the trainees. Even in a position of responsibility, take care not to imagine yourself as any closer or truer to your company’s vision than your team. Instead, instil in your team the idea that you are all in this together. Achieving goals will be much more meaningful to your team when you can celebrate as an unstoppable force. Rather than a glorious leader standing on their shoulders.

2. Delegate to make your team the stars

Understand that as a leader, the ultimate judgment of your success is not simply whether or not your team achieved an established goal. But also how your team developed along the way. You might think taking on most or all important tasks by yourself is a sign of dedication, but it only establishes to your team that you have no faith in them. Furthermore, your team’s growth is hampered as a result, indicating your ability as a leader to foster development. To avoid this, delegate important tasks to your team frequently.  Also, ensure that you are available to offer guidance. You can have your fingerprints on everything without leaving your team out in the cold.

3. Take responsibility

The ultimate measure of humility is being willing to answer for unforeseen challenges. Your team is there for you every day while chasing down your goals; a worthwhile leader never abandons or throws them under the bus for shortcomings. Rather than blaming your team for challenges, fight for their inclusion in creating a new strategy. The business’s goals are theirs as much as yours or anyone else’s, so keeping them involved can only increase your chance at success.

4. Express Gratitude

Just like your customers, your employees are an indispensable ingredient in the recipe for your success. Generating novel ideas to show your team that their contributions are appreciated can be difficult, but any effort you can make to reinforce to them how important they are is worthwhile. Not every effort has to be grandiose, either. Small gestures like offering a “Thank you” without fail for the completion of daily tasks may not seem like a big deal, but they go a long way toward creating a positive culture for your team.

5. Encourage Feedback

One way or the other, your employees provide you with feedback, but as a leader, you have a degree of control over whether you receive the feedback in a positive fashion. Limiting feedback channels denies your employees of the ability to contribute to the very culture in which they exist, converting them from team members with a real stake in your team’s goals into drones, cynically working towards ends they might not even know and possessing no real reason to stay. Open various channels of communication between you and your team to ensure everyone has a method to voice concerns and ideas with which they are comfortable, and you’ll reap the rewards of an engaged team who cares about goals because they had a hand in creating them.
Remember that every member of your team is important in the attainment of your goals. When you approach your leadership with humility as a guiding principle, you and your team can achieve what you may not have thought possible.

I have spent over a decade helping trainees and established employees flourish in the QSR, Retail, and Tech industries. My goal in any context is to help people grow into active contributors to both the bottom line and healthy culture.