Leadership Faux Pas #9 – Confusing Humility With Humiliation “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ― C.S.Lewis Sometimes leaders confuse humility with humiliation. Look up the definition for humiliation and you will see words like … embarrassment, shame, indignity, and degradation. Look up the definition of humility…
Recently I was working with a group of leaders from a gold mining company to help them strengthen their Coaching Skills. Towards the end of the week I had an opportunity to tour the mine. My guide Jesse was navigating though the various tunnels when all of a sudden he stopped the vehicle, killed the lights, and shut-off the engine. While we sat there 2500 feet underground in complete and utter darkness … it hit me … LIKE A TON OF BRICKS!
Being a leader means that your people take their cues from you. The behaviors you exhibit are the behaviors that slowly get woven into the culture of your team. And while the saying “Do as I say … not as I do” may work with a 2 year old, it will drive your ability to lead right into the toilet. So the question becomes … what beliefs and behaviors are forming your team culture?
Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with or present in front of 1000’s of leaders. On occasion, I have been asked, What makes a great leader? What are the traits of a great leader? Can they be learned? Are people born with them? And the answer always is … it depends. It might be easy to say the top 5 characteristics of a great leader are X or Y or Z. There are literally 1000’s of books written on the topic.
Listen, Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh? The Beatles. Recently I had an online chat with a rep at Ally Bank. Here’s the transcript: Welcome to Ally’s Live Chat. Thanks for joining us! A Customer Care Associate will be with you in a moment. You are number 1 in the queue. Thank you for waiting.
When it comes to fishing, most fishermen use a leader (an additional section of wire or line) to connect the hook or the lure to the fishing line. The type of leader used is determined by the situation or objective. For example, sometimes you need a stronger leader so a larger fish doesn’t snap or bite through the line and cause problems. In other situations a thinner, lighter, leader is needed so the fish doesn’t see the line and get distracted.
In 1984 the band Chicago was a leader in their industry when they released Chicago 17 which included the popular song, Hard Habit to Break. The song is a love ballad about a man who is ruminating over a failed relationship. He took her for granted and is now wishing he had her back. But as love stories sometimes go … she left.
It’s easy to get caught up in the barrage of divisiveness that seems to be running rampant in our world. The politicians in Washington D.C. can’t seem to get pass the bipartisanism that divides us … even when the future of our country is at stake. And if you consider the magnification of this divisiveness by the media who seems hell bent on exaggerating either the US side or the THEM side, it could lead you to feel quite hopeless … if you let it.
And the Truth Shall … A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to work with a group of leaders. At one point in the day we arrived at a fork in the road. Path A: Ignore the elephant in the room and continue to pretend that everything was “fine,” even though everyone knew it…
It has been scientifically proven that humans have a predisposition to focus on the negative. It seems to be inherent in our programming and reinforced by our upbringing. Just think about the time you came home with 5 B’s and 1 D on your report card. Where did your parents focus their attention? When we…