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The Strength to be Humble

Humility is not a sign of weakness. It is a quiet declaration of strength.

Does anyone really want to follow someone who demands the spotlight? Do people really respect a leader who needs constant recognition to feel important? We know we don’t. Yet, many of us have been stuck watching a leader act that way.

Some individuals believe they are exhibiting strength and confidence by acting like this. When in actuality, it is pride and insecurity which drives them. Their ego needs stroked in order for them to feel validated.

Too many people believe exercising Humility is a sign of weakness. We are tempted to believe we can’t be confident and humble at the same time. In fact, some people see Humility as a lack of confidence. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. You can be humble and confident at the same time. Mother Theresa publicly called out world leaders for their behaviors. Yet, her Humility is legendary. Her Humility was not a sign of weakness. It was a quiet declaration of strength.

Leaders—don’t be deceived. Pounding our chests and boasting about our accomplishments does not inspire people to follow us. Yes. We may have talent and be good at our job. But, needing to talk about how good we are exposes our pride and insecurities to everyone. On the other hand, we inspire trust when we exercise the confidence and Humility to deflect praise towards others.

Pride is the root cause of many of our leadership failures. But, each time we exercise Humility, we make it easier to defeat our pride in the future.

Consider a few ways to exercise Humility at work and at home this week:

  • Eliminate “I” and “me” from your vocabulary. Use “us” and “we” instead.

  • Admit when you don’t have the answer and ask for help.

  • Get out of your chair to help your spouse, no matter how tired you are.

  • Apologize to your spouse or child when you use a poor choice of words.

While it is true we all struggle with pride in some form, we can win those battles by exercising Humility and believing and acting like “It’s not about me.” This does not prove we are weak. It proves we are strong and worth following.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • Have you ever observed a leader who exercised Humility, yet who had great confidence? If so, what stands out to you about their example?

  • What is one situation that is likely to come up this week which will give you an opportunity to exercise Humility?


Taking responsibility and exercising Humility is a lifelong journey for not only you, but your team. We want to partner with you as you make Humility part of your organizational culture. When it comes to remembering the definition of Humility, let us help to make it easy to keep it visible.

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