@BusinessDaily

If humility is so important, why are leaders so arrogant?

3 weeks ago, 11:40

By: Harvard Business ...

A column in The Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed: .” The article reported that humble leaders “inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams.”

This celebration of humility, however, flies in the face of reality. Just think of the Tesla CEO Elon Musk: He may be the most visible, influential, high-impact leader in Silicon Valley, yet it’s hard to imagine anyone with less “modesty” or “unpretentiousness.”

If humility is so important, why are so many leaders today so arrogant?

For one thing, too many leaders think they can’t be humble and ambitious at the same time. Edgar Schein, professor emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management, once asked a group of his students what it means to be promoted to the rank of manager.

“They said without hesitation, ‘It means I can now tell others what to do.'” Those are the roots of the know-it-all style of leadership.

The “tacit assumption” among executives “is that life is fundamentally and always a competition” — between companies, but also between individuals within companies, Schein adds.

In reality, of course, humility and ambition need not be at odds. Indeed, humility in the service of ambition is the most effective and sustainable mindset for leaders who aspire to do big things in a world filled with huge unknowns.

Years ago, a group of human resources professionals at IBM embraced a term to capture this mindset. The most effective leaders, they argued, exuded a sense of “humbition,” which they defined as “one part humility and one part ambition.”

No pretenders

Another issue with humility is that it can feel soft at a time when problems are hard; it can make leaders appear vulnerable when people are looking for answers and reassurances. Of course, that’s precisely its virtue: The most effective business leaders don’t pretend to have all the answers; the world is just too complicated for that.

Here too, Schein offers helpful insights. In a book called “Humble Inquiry,” Schein identifies three different forms of humility. The first, “the humility that we feel around elders and dignitaries,” is a basic part of social life.

The second, “the humility that we feel in the presence of those who awe us with their achievements,” is a standard part of professional life. It’s the third form of humility, which he calls “here-and-now humility,” that is the most rarely observed in business, and the most relevant for leaders who truly want to achieve big things.

Here-and-now humility is “how I feel when I am dependent on you,” Schein explains. “My status is inferior to yours at this moment because you know something or can do something that I need in order to accomplish some task or goal. I also have a choice. I can either not commit to tasks that make me dependent on others, or I can deny the dependency, avoid feeling humble, fail to get what I need, and, thereby, fail to accomplish the task or unwittingly sabotage it.”

We live in a world where ego gets attention but modesty gets results. Where ...
Read More


Category: business opinion news economy corporate lifestyle

Suggested

8 hours ago, 10:11
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Pence declares no end to tariffs till China bows

The stark warning will likely be unwelcome news to financial markets which had hoped for a thaw in the Sino-US dispute and deal at a G20 meeting. ...

Category: business news
8 hours ago, 10:21
@StandardMedia - By: Afp
Undersea gas fires Egypt's national energy dreams

Egypt is looking to use its vast, newly tapped undersea gas reserves to establish itself as a key energy exporter and revive its flagging economy. ...

Category: business news
7 hours ago, 11:37
@StandardMedia - By: Mirror
Workaholic Duchess of Sussex shakes up staff with '5am starts'

In just six months she has tried to do things the way she wants all in a family that has stuck with strict protocols for centuries. ...

Category: business news
7 hours ago, 11:37
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Barrick Gold eyes assets, exploration as it plots new phase

Barrick Gold Corp is interested in adding more copper assets provided the red metal is accompanied by bullion. ...

Category: business news
3 hours ago, 16:00
@DailyNation - By: Edwin Okoth
Billions poured into projects to cut fuel cost but consumers yet to gain

A multibillion-shilling bid to relieve consumers from expensive fuel has failed to yield fruit in what remains unclear in the pump pricing calculations made by ERC every middle of the month. ...

Category: topnews news business
3 hours ago, 16:00
@DailyNation -
Kiunjuri stops renting out of cereals’ board silos

The government has ordered termination of all leases of the National and Cereals Produce Board (NCPB) depots in a bid to create space for the purchase of the new grain. ...

Category: business news

@BusinessDaily

If humility is so important, why are leaders so arrogant?

3 weeks ago, 11:40

By: Harvard Business ...

A column in The Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed: .” The article reported that humble leaders “inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams.”

This celebration of humility, however, flies in the face of reality. Just think of the Tesla CEO Elon Musk: He may be the most visible, influential, high-impact leader in Silicon Valley, yet it’s hard to imagine anyone with less “modesty” or “unpretentiousness.”

If humility is so important, why are so many leaders today so arrogant?

For one thing, too many leaders think they can’t be humble and ambitious at the same time. Edgar Schein, professor emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management, once asked a group of his students what it means to be promoted to the rank of manager.

“They said without hesitation, ‘It means I can now tell others what to do.'” Those are the roots of the know-it-all style of leadership.

The “tacit assumption” among executives “is that life is fundamentally and always a competition” — between companies, but also between individuals within companies, Schein adds.

In reality, of course, humility and ambition need not be at odds. Indeed, humility in the service of ambition is the most effective and sustainable mindset for leaders who aspire to do big things in a world filled with huge unknowns.

Years ago, a group of human resources professionals at IBM embraced a term to capture this mindset. The most effective leaders, they argued, exuded a sense of “humbition,” which they defined as “one part humility and one part ambition.”

No pretenders

Another issue with humility is that it can feel soft at a time when problems are hard; it can make leaders appear vulnerable when people are looking for answers and reassurances. Of course, that’s precisely its virtue: The most effective business leaders don’t pretend to have all the answers; the world is just too complicated for that.

Here too, Schein offers helpful insights. In a book called “Humble Inquiry,” Schein identifies three different forms of humility. The first, “the humility that we feel around elders and dignitaries,” is a basic part of social life.

The second, “the humility that we feel in the presence of those who awe us with their achievements,” is a standard part of professional life. It’s the third form of humility, which he calls “here-and-now humility,” that is the most rarely observed in business, and the most relevant for leaders who truly want to achieve big things.

Here-and-now humility is “how I feel when I am dependent on you,” Schein explains. “My status is inferior to yours at this moment because you know something or can do something that I need in order to accomplish some task or goal. I also have a choice. I can either not commit to tasks that make me dependent on others, or I can deny the dependency, avoid feeling humble, fail to get what I need, and, thereby, fail to accomplish the task or unwittingly sabotage it.”

We live in a world where ego gets attention but modesty gets results. Where ...
Read More

Category: business opinion news economy corporate lifestyle

Suggested

8 hours ago, 10:11
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Pence declares no end to tariffs till China bows

The stark warning will likely be unwelcome news to financial markets which had hoped for a thaw in the Sino-US dispute and deal at a G20 meeting. ...

Category: business news
8 hours ago, 10:21
@StandardMedia - By: Afp
Undersea gas fires Egypt's national energy dreams

Egypt is looking to use its vast, newly tapped undersea gas reserves to establish itself as a key energy exporter and revive its flagging economy. ...

Category: business news
7 hours ago, 11:37
@StandardMedia - By: Mirror
Workaholic Duchess of Sussex shakes up staff with '5am starts'

In just six months she has tried to do things the way she wants all in a family that has stuck with strict protocols for centuries. ...

Category: business news
7 hours ago, 11:37
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Barrick Gold eyes assets, exploration as it plots new phase

Barrick Gold Corp is interested in adding more copper assets provided the red metal is accompanied by bullion. ...

Category: business news
3 hours ago, 16:00
@DailyNation - By: Edwin Okoth
Billions poured into projects to cut fuel cost but consumers yet to gain

A multibillion-shilling bid to relieve consumers from expensive fuel has failed to yield fruit in what remains unclear in the pump pricing calculations made by ERC every middle of the month. ...

Category: topnews news business
3 hours ago, 16:00
@DailyNation -
Kiunjuri stops renting out of cereals’ board silos

The government has ordered termination of all leases of the National and Cereals Produce Board (NCPB) depots in a bid to create space for the purchase of the new grain. ...

Category: business news
Our App