The Attributes of Leadership (9)


Humility is the attribute that balances arrogance with confidence. Effective leaders know they do not have exclusive ownership of wisdom and there are many solutions to most problems. They recognise that there will always be something new to learn and that others in the team are able to make a valuable contribution.

They achieve this by:

  • Being courteous in dealings with others
  • Listening to others views and opinions
  • Building on the experience and contribution of others

A leader with humility actively encourages contributions from team members and seeks to use their qualities and skills to the full. A good leader does not feel threatened by the diversity of the group. They see this as a source of strength because people of different backgrounds bring fresh perspectives. By publicly acknowledging the contribution of the team and individuals they instil trust and commitment in achieving more successes.

An effective leader treats others with a high level of respect, valuing the input of others and always encouraging and exploring their views. They listen actively and equally to all members of their team.

Strong leaders recognise the importance of setting a personal example, recognising that their position as leader is about making an active contribution to the team solution as well as encouraging team members to take action toward that solution..

As the leader, they accept any of the blame and non of the credit for any team achievement. The best leader has a team that says ‘Look at what we have achieved!’

This requires a high level of self confidence and flexibility, allowing them to react quickly and moderate their own behaviour where necessary. They focus on encouragement not personal involvement, or demonstrating their own prowess.

There is a difficult balance between displaying humility and losing the confidence of self and the team. A leader needs to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and how they impact on others.

Dare to Aspire


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