Saturday, September 24, 2011

Newly Etched in Stone - Be Humble

I’m changing my Quiet Leader commandments.  Fortunately these commandments are not hosted on stone tablets but I do consider these principles seriously.   They go to the core of who I try to be.

The new commandment is “Be humble.”

Recently, I encountered the Humility Imperative.  I started reading the submissions of some of my favorite people on the blogosphere. I not only discovered the site, I was consumed by it.

Here are two examples from the site  that influenced me to change the commandments.

“my boss and other officials took all the credit”

The post title caught my attention in the context of a recent company event.  The post by M.D. Haddad resonated with me.   As leaders we need to remember to give credit where credit is due.  We have to dig deep to ensure that everyone gets credit.  Just like the credits at the end of the movie that recognize the best boy, gaffer, key grip, caterer, and the administrative assistant. 

At a quarterly global town hall meeting at my work this week, a regional executive was announcing a global initiative that members of my team worked on.  The phrase “worked on” does no justice to the effort.  Because the project was managed from our Asia Pacific office, the project effort included evening and early morning conference calls.  An aggressive timeline also required my team members put in long hours, several times late into the evening and early morning so that data fixes would be ready for the Asia Pacific development team.  My team did the work of the best boys, gaffers, and key grips.  They helped make it happen.

However, in the global town hall meeting, no one below a director level was recognized for their effort.  There were pictures, accolades, stand up introductions and more.  But in the end, there was no mention of the best boys, gaffers, key grips, and caterers.  I noted the omission as a good lesson in leadership.  Remember to give credit everywhere that credit is due.

(This is a personal call out to Jason, Dave, and Jill for their work as best boy, gaffer, and key grip.  Give credit where credit is due.)

On the Humility Imperative site, an Abraham Lincoln quote caught my attention.
The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.
I love a great list and the quote’s accompanying post by Angel Cirrone Smith got me thinking about life and how I should position myself in this quickly changing world. A couple of favorites:
  • Appreciate & respect differences in others. This is what makes us all unique.
  • Not every person you meet is going to like you.
  • Live each day by trying to put a smile on at least one person’s face.
Angel’s list is simple and insightful.  A good lesson in humility.

I recommend the  Humility Imperative site.  I also took the oath.  It drove me to change my Quiet Leader Commandments after two years.

Thanks for reading. Lead with humility.  Take the humility oath.  Make the world a better place.

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