Humility is a difficult trait to demonstrate, because many people equate showing vulnerability to showing weakness. However, humility in leadership can be a powerful part of your company culture, because it can build trust and can open the door for your employees to express their own vulnerability. Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership, as well as being a bestselling author and the host of the world’s largest and fastest growing podcast devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Scott recently appeared as a guest on the Onward Nation podcast, where he discussed how showing humility in leadership can build trust, empower your employees, and become a key part of your company’s culture.
Mirriam-Webster defines humility as: “freedom from pride or arrogance, the quality or state of being humble”. As Scott Miller defines it, humility in leadership means “owning your mess” and recognizing that you sometimes make mistakes. Humility is an important component of trust, whether with your clients or with your internal team members. When you make a mistake, Scott says it is important to apologize in the right way and use the right language. It means letting your guard down, not trying to protect yourself or make excuses, and being clear in how you will change your behavior going forward. Showing humility can be uncomfortable, but your authenticity goes a long way in repairing hurt relationships and can show that your word can be relied on. Because your team looks to you as their leader to set the culture of your company, this level of trust can have a ripple effect throughout your organization.
Part of showing humility in leadership is in coaching continuously, and in the right way. It’s about being clear in your expectations, praising your team when they achieve their goals, and reinforcing positive behaviors. You shouldn’t wait until there’s a problem; instead, you should always be coaching your team. Your leadership guides your team, and continuous coaching can help motivate your team to big wins while identifying areas where you can improve. Coaching should be an ongoing, interactive process that strengthens your culture and the effectiveness of everyone on the team.
Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal best-seller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.