The common thread in all great leaders is humility. The reason is when we are humble, we are open. There is space for self understanding, awareness, and reflection. We have a suggestion box. With this box comes responsibility. Accepting this responsibility brings us down from our pedestal — the grandiose image of ourselves projected by our ego. Unity is formed which then builds trust. Trust allows people to feel safe. Cohesion is created. With this glue, the group, partnership, marriage, company, classroom, nation is ready to be lead, move forward, and change. If we are self centered, we are closed. We are cement. There is no discussion. Only pointed fingers. We sit high, looking down.
This does not allow space for self understanding or awareness. Without this space, there is no opportunity to be responsible. No responsibility means no unity which means no trust. People feel unsafe. The container is cracked. There is no growth. Humility is trusting. Arrogance is threatening. We all have an ego. To check that ego is difficult. It goes against our human nature. It means accepting that we are not perfect. Since many associate perfect with power, they think humility equals weakness. But it is the complete opposite. Only when we have accepted our imperfections can we be truly powerful. When you think about all the people you respect and admire in this world, how many of them display a sense of superiority, preach instead of teach, put themselves first, brag, talk at you instead of to you? You may respect and admire someone’s ability but that does not mean you respect and admire them. There is a difference. Only one is a leader. I think many mistake humility with not being confident. Don’t mistake the two. People who listen more than they speak, observe first, and respond instead of reacts, may appear insecure and not sure of themselves. But that’s not the case. They are actually being open. This ability requires courage. So don’t confuse humility with insecurity.
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