Humility, Sweet Humility

Humility is a powerful tool to strengthen trust and empower leadership and teamwork.

Humility is a powerful tool to strengthen trust and empower leadership and teamwork.

Look at the news these days. So many stories focus on individuals who believe rules aren’t for them and they can do no wrong. Have they never heard of servant leadership?

I often help leaders, salespeople and executives “craft and deliver” persuasive presentations. Some of these presentations are for sales opportunities, while others target internal, community or industry audiences.

These presentations share one core element: each leader has an authentic story to tell. 

All of our clients are both successful and life-long learners.  These leaders have both the skill and will to achieve excellence.

However, very few top executives have received coaching on the fundamentals of how to create and deliver persuasive presentations. They really know their stuff, but they don’t know how to tell their story for maximum impact.

And even fewer embrace the power of humility.

Bob Marcusse gets it.  He is former President and CEO at the Kansas City Area Development Council, and now works at CBRE. Bob summarizes this “aw shucks” Midwestern spirit, “If KC was on the shores of Lake Superior, we’d probably rebrand it as ‘Lake Pretty Good.’”

I find the most confident C-level executives understand the power of humility.  It builds trust.  Builds teams. These leaders know they're "pretty good" but yet they’re self-confident enough not to let their ego get in their way of future success.

Confidence and compassion

These executives understand the "mirror vs. window" metaphor as it relates to praise or criticism and continuously incorporate it into their work.

Nobody likes an egomaniac. Nobody goes the extra mile for a person they don’t like or respect. Competency and leadership skills are now simply "entry fees" to become a great executive. In order to win the hearts and minds of the people who matter most, the very best executives incorporate authentic humility within their presentations.

We all relate better to someone who is “like us” and humility helps bridge the chasm that often exists between leaders and and the rest of the team.

There are many proven presentation techniques to incorporate within persuasive presentations --  including an appropriate use of self-effacing humor -- to demonstrate humility. As always, the key to effectively utilizing humility is authenticity: people will see right through a gratuitous or superficial smokescreen.

But for those confident executives who embrace the power of humility, you’ll get others to move mountains for you!