Studies have shown humble leadership is great for business success. Being humble you display the bigger purpose of accountability to your team and business. It does not mean you think less of yourself but think of yourself less. Humble leaders make great role models, people are ready to jump off the cliff for them. Do you know organizations eye humble leadership traits in candidates during hiring?

Great leadership does not mean being egoistic, aggressive, arrogant, or carry a fear-raising air. Gone are those days of top-down leadership which is often counterproductive. Today, business demands leadership skills blended with humility for growth and sustainability. Humble leaders are approachable and always ready to lend an ear.

Humility in leadership can shift the gears of business performance from average to superior.

stronger teamwork

Humble leaders make the best leaders. Humble leadership builds stronger teamwork, increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and continuous learning and development.A 2018 New York Times investigative writeup found, only 15% of people have humility as their trait. This means, only 1 out of 10 CEOs will display humbleness. A 2015 survey found that humbleness in CEOs yielded better team performance, more flexible strategies, and a great boost in collaboration.

Leaders when work with inputs from everyone passes through the length and breadth of the organization. Other managers and executives try to emulate the leader’s humble approach creating a culture to bring out the best from everybody.

Humility never equals weakness

Leadership is more of execution than style. That is the reason people take humility in wrong perspectives. Humility does not snatch your power but empowers you more. Works on psychology associate humility with a cluster of positive traits like modesty, honesty, fairness, sincerity, integrity, unpretentiousness, and authenticity.

What are the important humble leadership skills to drive your business?

fear in employee

Research has found absolute display of power and control over everything creates an environment of fear – fear of speaking, fear of missing targets, fear of missing incentives, and even worst fear of losing the job. The team working under the leader does not bring any positive emotions, the members fail to learn, innovate, and contribute. The key to humble leadership skills is to make the staff or team members feel purposeful and motivated so that they give their best to the job.

Key strengths of humility

  • The eagerness and ability to serve a bigger purpose
  • Communicating with kindness.
  • Openness to learning rising above know-it-all attitude

A humble leader understands that he/she is not always the smartest person in the room. Neither it is required to be. Humble leadership demands encouragement to allow people to speak their minds, respect differences of opinion, and uphold the best ideas irrespective of their source whether it is from the top or bottom rank of the organization.

Humble leadership is driven by intent. With the right approach, you can gradually build up those skills.

Strengthen your knowledge

emotional intelligence is essential

You cannot lead without knowing how to do it. Apart from your formal academic knowledge, work on your soft skills. Build your emotional intelligence, emotional resilience, flexibility, and adaptability to different situations.

Always put your team first

Humble leadership puts the team’s objective first rising above all egos. Focus on the team members’ needs and their challenges to drive the organization’s goals. Are your employees satisfied with the situation? This will build a culture that always keeps the team first than individual achievements, the leader should make the first move.

Be willing to be in the trenches with your mates

boss supporting team member

When your team members find you by their side in different areas of work, there is nothing they won’t do for you. As a true leader, find opportunities to support your team members in every possible way. If one of your subordinates reports sick, do not hesitate to take up his/her work. Doing a job below your position does not belittle you. On the contrary, you win strong loyalty and it will be seen in their productivity.

Learn the art of asking instead of telling

Shift your position from the authoritative role to the companionship role. The effect will be great. Instead of showing employees ways to do jobs better, ask how you can help them for the same. Your ways may not be always effective. Men on the ground know better the pain points and can suggest effective ways of doing the job better. This creates a virtuous cycle. Your staff feels recognized and inclusive to the organization. They will striveto bring new solutions.

Create a risk-free space to experiment

women working on new projects

Often the best way to build humble leadership skills is by allowing some low-risk space for your employees to experiment with new ideas. As a leader, you encourage them to push their boundaries something beyond what they are used to. You will be surprised to see new ideas that you ever imagined.

Nurture a culture of authenticity

You and your team members – everybody has a unique story. Talking about your past mistakes and adversities in life and how you fought those would have a great influence on your team members. It is not a pity-seeking attitude but a way of passing your experience as a learning module to your team.

Love your strengths but be aware of your weaknesses

business woman looking out of the window

A crucial step to build human leadership skills is to accept and love your strengths and talents. This will give you confidence and help you more to reconcile with humbling experiences. We all have weaknesses but having a strong awareness of it matters. We can fall short of expectations in many instances. Solicit honest feedback from your co-workers and peers and pay heed to them.  This builds trust in the team and makes everybody accountable without any micromanagement.

Acknowledge your mistakes, learn and move on

You should not only admit your mistake but also go further to understand where and how things went wrong and what can be done to rectify them. Convey your staff what you have learned from mistakes. Most importantly, do not dwell on the mistake but keep moving.

Be open-minded and humanize professional relations

professional relations

The know-it-all attitude of leaders poses a great risk to organizations. Do not hesitate to accept ideas, suggestions, and even criticism from your subordinates. This will deepen the relationship with your staff and loyalty. Open-mindedness helps in continuous improvement and makes you confident even when making the toughest decisions.

Give away the credit keep the failure

Humble leaders give away the credit and take responsibility forthe failure. It does not degrade you but fetches more respect. Your staff learns the value of responsibility. The credit boosts their morale making them feel integral in the organization. They automatically display more accountability in their roles. However, be aware of the mental pressure of accepting the failure on your part.

Placing yourself on a higher pedestal than the teammates or employees will never make you an effective leader.  Your humble leadership will bring you great surprises more than you can expect. It will make you feel better personally, improve staff retention and the bottom line.

While humble leadership is an essential trait in business management, it would be wise to know why dominant leadership should be avoided at all costs.

Why is it good to avoid dominating your subordinates?

boss dominating the subordinate

There must have been times when you stand to handle the entire project along with your team. You are given responsibilities and authorities that are essential for the smooth flow of the project. While most of enjoy being a leader in certain kind of tasks, targets or projects, we must also not overlook the fact that it is easier to be a leader but it takes a lot to be a good leaderSo what is a leader supposed to do? Read on and discover.

Remember to lead not to dictate

In the due course of times there might be instances when you are required to tighten your grip on your team mates in order to ensure that the work is going on smoothly. However, you must not forget that the team would appreciate you as a leader and not as a dictator. Instead of only giving away the orders try to work along with your team. This attitude restores the faith of your team in you, making you a good leader to work with.

Keep your eyes open

Division of work

Division of work is one of the most important principles that are followed in any kind of organization. You have to make sure that while you are assigning tasks to your sub ordinate or your team mate it is important to supervise it before after and even during the course. If you do not supervise if quite frequently, then the chances of the takes going wrong are much higher. Moreover, supervising regularly can also enable you to detect the problem as soon as possible.

Befriend your subordinates

Always remember that you cannot demand the respect you can only command the respect. One way of commanding the respect from your subordinates towards you is making them your friend. The friendlier you are, the better will be your bonding with them. They will definitely keep faith in you which will certainly add efficiency in their work. Therefore, be friendly with them, listen to their professional and personal problems (to some extent), try to resolve them as well.

You got to keep calm


Losing your patience is certainly losing the interest of your subordinates. You are supposed to remain and retain your calmness in every possible way. Your subordinates might encounter several doubts and then it is your duty to guide them properly. No matter how many times are they going to ask you their doubt, your duty is to help them out, solve their doubts and provide them proper guidance.

Dominant nature is a strict no

Nobody likes to get dominated by someone else, isn’t it? Thus as a manager you must be able to maintain a good balance between being strict and friendly. If you begin to dominate your employees way too much, it is either going to cause higher employee turnover or it might directly impact their performance. Instead you got to choose a mid way. Be a little strict but only from the point of view of discipline and professionalism and at the same time allow them to be themselves and grow along with the organization.

Speak but listen as well

discussion with the team

You are not just a leader but also the voice of your team and therefore, their grief and complains are supposed to be heard and addressed by you for sure. Being a leader if you overlook their problems and got only concerned with plans and projects, then there are stronger chances of non cooperation from employees. Therefore, it is one of your prime duties of the manager or leader to ensure that he or she is lending your ears and support to your team and winning their confidence as well.

Recent Articles: