Magazine article American Nurse Today

The Imperative of Humble Leadership: Empower Your Team through Shared Responsibility

Magazine article American Nurse Today

The Imperative of Humble Leadership: Empower Your Team through Shared Responsibility

Article excerpt

IN THIS WORLD of social media, where people focus on self-promotion, it seems odd to address the issue of humility. But humble leadership is imperative in today's world. Humble leaders are critical for creating environments that enable diversity of thought and ideas. They create space for others to contribute by demonstrating acts of humility, empowering others to learn and grow, taking risks for the greater good, and holding people responsible for results. Engaging in different points of view is often contrary to what you might expect of leadership, but dialogue is far different from debate--and true humility is demonstrated when leaders suspend their own agenda and beliefs to truly hear another point of view.

Acknowledging others' opinions and ideas shows strength and competence, and that you're not threatened by others' valuable contributions. When people feel valued, they're more productive, which creates a positive atmosphere. Humility also stimulates professional growth as you become more self-aware, acknowledging that you can't do it all; none of us is infallible, and we need others to learn, grow, and be successful. A 2011 study found that admitting mistakes, highlighting follower strengths, and modeling teachability are at the core of humble leadership and are powerful predictors of an organization's growth.

Humility doesn't imply weakness. On the contrary; it enables you to be gentle but strong, forgiving, and appreciative. As a humble leader you share authority and responsibility, investing in others to build new leaders, taking risks in them, and trusting them with the vision.

Shifting to self-less

We also see humble leadership in successful entrepreneurs who have the self-confidence, dynamism, and tenacity to start and build a successful venture but may not have the acumen to run it, according to entrepreneur Richard Branson. Shifting from "self to "self-less" is a critical part of the transition that empowers a team and enables an organization to operate smoothly and effectively. …

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