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Leading with Humility

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

Saint Augustine

There are many qualities essential to leadership, however, one of the most important I believe is humility. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines humility as “freedom from pride or arrogance.” I believe that this quality is essential to leadership. 


All great leaders have advisers who are specialists in their given fields who provide support and guidance. Great leaders do not make decisions in a vacuum. Great leaders have a vision. But they also have the ability to understand the importance of utilizing those around them to see that vision come to fruition. They surround themselves with individuals who are capable of challenging their ideas. This is necessary in order to maintain a sense of checks and balances.


It is when a leader acts unilaterally out of ego and hubris the inevitable result is someone whose sense of self overrides the best interest of the organization and the mission it is meant to uphold.


Great leaders understand the importance of empathy and selfless service. In my book, Leadership Through the Lens of the 12 Steps, I discuss these qualities and how crucial they are in relation to the relationship between leaders, senior management and the teams with whom they work.


Humility is ultimately the one aspect of leadership that separates those who leave a legacy of merit and distinction from those who are remembered for their exploits that are self-serving in nature. Which do you want to be?


Image – malofranco pixabay

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Max Donatelli
3 years ago

Excellent thoughts on leadership. Thanks Karl. I took the liberty of sharing our website that you are currently leading.

Ken Donaldson
3 years ago

Thanks Karl. Perfect post! I’m checking out your book.