Humility is a Leadership Characteristic

The most successful leaders have a humble view of themselves. They recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. They listen carefully because they understand they have something to learn (and sometimes relearn) from everyone and every situation big and small.

“It is through great loss and sometimes even great tragedy that teams and businesses have the greatest opportunities to improve, grow and thrive.”

Today, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that characteristic is underscored. It’s the leader with humility that is documenting their actions and reactions, what worked, and what didn’t, what they would do differently. They see in the pandemic a need to step up as a leader who learns and shares. Humble leaders are already preparing an after-action report with these details because they value continuous improvement for themselves and their organization.

They make safety personal by identifying the “heroes” in their organizations then documenting and telling their personal stories. That’s how organizations pass along tribal knowledge.

In the short term, documenting our actions helps us make sense or understand what’s going on and it can be a source of inspiration for the organization to keep moving forward. It says it’s ok to make a mistake as long as we learn from it and that the learning process is formalized through an after-action process and report.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the minute by minute changes and updates in the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, it’s an event none of us have experienced before. The most successful leaders will have the humility to learn from it.

Humility is the key to learning and growing. The after-action report is the tool.

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