Effective leadership fuses grit, humility
WITH KALANI MORSE
J.D., SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT HAWAII CHAPTER BOARD MEMBER AND ATTORNEY, DURRETT LANG LLLP
Bold and confident leaders often command the limelight, but cutting-edge thinkers in the leadership field advocate tempering bold actions and confident attitudes with emotional intelligence. Paradoxically, remaining humble and grounded while pursuing lofty goals accelerates performance for the whole team. Author and leading business consultant Jim Collins affirms that true sustained business success follows where a leader’s ambition is for the greatness of the work and the company, rather than for themselves.
Hopefully the following tips will help you lead boldly and with humility:
Q: How can I get credit for my accomplishments if I don’t ‘toot my own horn?’
A: Credit for good work is like a loyal dog, it always finds its true owner. Avoid taking credit where it’s not due and don’t crow over past victories. Continue doing good work and humbly accept credit and praise as it comes. Striking a balance as a bold and empowering leader means praising others profusely while remaining circumspect about your own achievements. And remember, credibility over credit. Consistent contributions over time are more valuable — more than any credit you could grab for any particular “win.”
Q: Isn’t it more polite to give someone else the credit?
A: Deflecting credit when complimented by saying, “Oh, it was nothing,” fails to acknowledge the trust your team has put in you as their leader. A better response may be to simply say thank you and then move on to pointing out the value of the whole team’s effort. Being polite does not mean hiding the value of your work and actions. Actions speak louder than words, so avoid words that will muddle the message your work is broadcasting loud and clear.
Q: I’m not sure that I can make bold moves at work — that sounds scary.
A: Aspiring for excellence can benefit any individual, whatever his/her position. Daring to make bold moves could mean anything from suggesting new ways of doing things to seeking professional development opportunities for yourself outside of work. Whatever the dare, growth as a bold and humble leader starts with an attitude of openness and humility. Always believe in striving to become a better you tomorrow, while also remaining grateful for those who have helped you get where you are today.