During the last 20 years, a fresh variety of celebrity-status entrepreneurs has come to the fore. Names like Mark Cuban, Arianna Huffington, Gary Vaynerchuk and especially Steve Jobs have all built a reputation for his or her brash and authoritative leading styles.
In a global that celebrates such outspoken leadership, what role could humility possibly play in your success?
Works out: It’s essential. In fact, for most, humility may be the missing ingredient — rather than for the reasons you may expect.
Related: Humility: An Undervalued But Crucial Business Asset
As Entrepreneur recently described, a report conducted by the University of Washington Foster School of Business discovered that “humble people makes the most efficient leaders and are much more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings.”
That’s a robust claim, just what exactly is humility?
Humility is often recognised incorrectly as low self-esteem.
The truth is, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking less about yourself. Genuine humility is a report in perceptiveness, self-awareness and kindness and makes people more candid, compassionate and charitable. Humble leaders are honest about both their strengths and limitations. They are confident without having to be conceited; open-minded without having to be obstinate; and supportive without having to be submissive.
As the fantastic Jim Collins said, “The X-factor of great leadership isn’t personality, it really is humility.”
But what does humility do?
Listed below are three essentials of humility doing his thing, each which applies right to your effectiveness as a leader and entrepreneur.
Listening lies in the centre of most successful relationships. This implies that you’re receptive to and respectful towards the opinions of others.
Humble entrepreneurs actively solicit feedback from their customers, colleagues, and community. Doing this boosts employee morale, betters your products and will be offering and develops customer loyalty.
Active listening is most effective in face-to-face conversations, but there are numerous of digital listening practices that may dramatically improve your humility quotient.
For instance, social media makes it simple to “overhear” the conversations swirling around your brand and products. Real-time B2B social media listening tools like Oktopost offer unvarnished insight in to the impact of your company, along with important info about industry trends, influencers and competitors.
Related: WORKS OUT, Humility Offers a Competitive Advantage
Also necessary to humble listening, as Peter Cohan put it in "Five Methods to Reach Entrepreneurial Humility," is creating a “360 degree review.” Why? Because total-picture access enables you to aware of the good thing combined with the bad. Quantitative data, specifically, is key.
This implies understanding and using industry standard tools like Google Analytics for yourself. Better still are all-in-one dashboards that combine online analytics with offline metrics. For larger businesses specifically, customizable tools like Cyfe pull together data on revenue, sales funnels, onsite engagement, social media, email performance and project management in a single place.
Humility never assumes it’s right. Humble leaders, while heeding their instincts, are prepared to test their assumptions.
Testing doesn’t need to be complicated to work. One of the simplest way to start out testing — regardless of what your size — is email. Whether you’re centered on external marketing or internal memos, testing crucial components of your email — namely, the topic line, from field, period, day of the week and this content itself — offers you genuine insight into what’s working — and what’s not.
If this type of testing is not used to you, you might start off with some simple and resourceful email split tests. “The target,” as Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing at Porch stresses, “is to check into what gets visitors to stop and say ‘tell me more.’”
To err is human. To admit that you erred is humility.
As leaders, we often regard admitting mistakes as an indicator of weakness. In reality, it’s an admirable act of grace, generosity and gumption.
Accepting that you did something amiss or that you don’t know everything, foregoes ego with regard to personal development and business growth. Requesting help not merely displays a willingness to understand but empowers others to shine. Moreover, it builds trust. Acknowledging a slipup today prevents it from swelling into an insurmountable challenge tomorrow.
Next time you stumble, bought it; your honesty will be rewarded.
Humility isn’t the most glamorous trait of success, nonetheless it is completely essential. Thankfully, the business enterprise world is getting up to the energy and potential of humility.
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