Humble Teams Win More Often

Believing and acting like “it’s not about me.”


What do you get when you put a bunch of high performing sales leaders in a room together? You will find success for sure—but will it be paired with Humility? Too many times, when we get all the egos in one room, we need extra space!

For twenty years, I was privileged to work with high-powered, successful sales leaders. Our success fueled our egos. But there was one problem. Our egos also set us up for failure.

When I think back to the great sales leaders I worked with, the top of the list were the ones who could handle success with a grain of salt. They never thought too much of themselves or their accomplishments. They knew their sales success could ebb and flow. Such level-headed insight gave these leaders healthy perspective which led to consistent success, with numerous highs and very few lows. Humility safeguarded them from fluctuating between hero-to-zero.

How did they remain consistently on top? They exercised Humility and shared their best ideas. In a competitive sales world, where one region was often compared to another region—some people thought it made sense to not share strategies. I had been part of one leadership team in which the leaders held back their best ideas and strategies. They didn’t share with their peers. They were only in it for themselves. The result? One or two of them would win each year and everyone else strategized how to beat them the next year. While they achieved success in one round—they failed to see what they were missing out on in the long run.

In comparison, I was part of another team where I watched some of the most successful sales leaders in the company openly share their ideas. They did not see each other as competition. They viewed each other as resources for wisdom and creativity. They believed it was their role to make other leaders better. They understood that by sharing their best ideas, everyone would benefit.

On this team, four or five people won each year and everyone else celebrated with them. Humility and teamwork were the foundation for more winners and more celebrations.

I took several lessons from those two leadership teams and saw how successful and competitive sales people were able to win more when they chose Humility. It was something I desired to lead with from that point on.

In the teams I led, I would frequently remind them, “We are all here to make each other better. As we do, we will each see more success.” We discovered our success was not dependent on someone else’s failure. Instead, our success was due to a collective dedication to believing and acting like “it’s not about me."

It took time to develop this culture. At times, a room full of highly successful and ego-driven salespeople needed coaching to help them focus on the success of others. But, over time we saw the wins pile up. We also found joy in working together as a team. It drove us to share ideas and make each other better. I watched individuals become the Leaders of Character their peers wanted to listen to and follow. Together, we lived out what it meant to believe and act like “It’s not about me.”

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What’s it like for you when you are surrounded by people who are humble enough to share their best ideas?

  • How can you lead with Humility and influence your team to do the same?

Exercising Humility takes work and is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Humility daily, which is why we have created FREE tools and resources to guide your journey.

To make it easy to keep the definition of Humility visible on your screens and devices, we would like to share our FREE Humility backgrounds for desktop and mobile available for download at: https://www.becomingaleaderofcharacter.com/tools-resources

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