Berger Leadership Blog

4 ways to practice humility

B. Dan BergerThose who achieve leadership roles have proven their skills and knowledge, and unfortunately, success can contribute to an inflated ego. While having confidence in one's self is important in leadership, you also need to balance that with the responsibility of leading an organization.

As I've written before, trust is a critical component of being an effective leader. Leadership guru Dan Rockwell says that "the first practice of humility is seeing others as trustworthy," and shares four ways to practice humility and keep your team motivated. Here they are:

  1. Give people the opportunity to rise. This is part of servant leadership, too. You hire people to fill a role for a reason, and you should give them the space to use their experience and knowledge to the fullest. It's also important that you provide opportunities to support professional and personal development.
  2. Free yourself from micromanaging. You should be confident that you've hired the right people and not feel the need to check in every step of the way. If you want to gain trust with your employees, you have to demonstrate that you trust them as well.
  3. Infuse the practice of accountability and follow-up with importance and meaning. Ignoring problems does not boost trust. Leaders must engage in effective feedback to ensure staff continue to grow and develop. However, there are phrases to be wary of when providing feedback.
  4. Say, "I'm counting on you." This phrase indicates to your employee that they have responsibility in your organization's success, too. You trust them to carry out what needs to be done, to meet a deadline or achieve a goal.

Effective leadership takes work. To have a successful organization, all employees need to be successful in their roles. These four leadership practices of humility are good to keep front-of-mind to ensure you are giving your team the space – and communication – they need.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.

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