Of all the sessions at the 2011 Willow Creek Leadership Summit, the one by John Dickinson may have been my favorite. An Australian, which gives him an automatic advantage due to a cool accent, Dickinson spoke powerfully on the topic of humility.
First take home: humility makes the great greater.
Here are the five reasons he shared as to why we should cultivate humility.
- Humility is common sense. In short, none of us is an expert on everything. Leaders have to fight the temptation to believe that expertise in one area automatically transfers to another area.
- Humility is beautiful. We are more attracted to the great who are humble than those who are great and know it.
- Humility is generative. Humility generates new knowledge, new abilities. A humble person is willing to learn; the proud already know it.
- Humility is persuasive. The most believable person in the world is the one you know has your best interest at heart.
- Humility is inspiring. When leaders are aloof, we may admire them but we don’t emulate them. When great leaders are approachable, we don’t just admire them — we aspire to be like them.