Eve Annunziato

My Leadership Crush May 25, 2008

Filed under: Leadership — Eve Annunziato @ 3:20 am

I have a confession; I have a major crush. Well, at least an affinity; an affinity for any leader who possesses the virtue of humility – a very, very rare feature to find. This week, I met with an effective, great yet grounded leader who reminded me of the uncommon but necessary humble quality. Not a characteristic I possess personally, but one I precariously long to attain. I tend to be more haughty, my husband refers to me as a “confident and assured leader.” But, keep in mind, he loves me! (note, that very sentence wasn’t a very humble remark now was it? I rest my case!). Make any excuse you want – one of the most attractive attributes of any leader is humility, especially for those of us who struggle with restraint. Humility certainly doesn’t mean you lack assertiveness, strength, determination, competitiveness or lack intelligence. In fact, it’s quite the contrary:

“The temptation of ego enhancement often entices many young leaders down the road to frustration and compromise . . . .One could argue that a lack of humility would be acceptable in high-intensity operations. However, the need for stable leaders with authentic humility remains constant.” Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Doty

Leadership guru and author, Jim Collins, describes a humble leader as follows:

  • Demonstrates a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation, never boastful
  • Acts with quiet, calm determination; relies principally on inspired standards, not inspiring charisma, to motivate
  • Looks in the mirror, not out the window to apportion responsibility for poor results, never blaming other people, external factors, or bad luck
  • Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will

I’ve seen leaders start out unassuming, but after an unhealthy dose of power, their feet no longer reach the ground. Don’t overlook the essential component of genuine humility. Modesty is compelling, pride is repelling. Humility in an organization will create a loyal environment, trustworthy relationships, and quality results. Additionally, an unassuming spirit appeals to others, as they, too, aspire to achieve the same unpretentiousness. As, I, constantly aspire to achieve.

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4 Responses to “My Leadership Crush”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Great post. As we lead others, we should all ask ourselves how we’re doing in this department. Most people find humility a very attractive trait… Thanks, Eve!

  2. Eric Says:

    Eve,
    Very interesting! I recently found someone whom I considered a leader that did not realize that they were
    be considered a “leader” by others. I am not sure it was even an act of humility.

    In my current work situation, I have 65 people who answer to me. I always try tell let them know that we work together as a team, with a common goal. I do not ask them to do anything that I would not do myself. I also let them know where I “draw-the-line”, so to speak. There comes a point where I am their supervisor — sometimes a difficult task to get across.

    You sure inspired me to think. Thanks!

  3. I understand, Eric. I find leadership is a balance of truth and grace, work and play. Mixing enough on both sides is a difficult feat. I admire your “team spirit.”

    Thanks for your response. Keep me updated on all that you’re learning and experiencing while managing a TON of employees.

  4. Eric Says:

    Eve,

    You really make me “think”! I wish I had more of your
    creative ideas toward leadership skills. I enjoy reading your blog very much!


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