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Can you ascribe humility to yourself?

Can you ascribe humility to yourself?

Oct 2015

Most of us would easily ascribe to the view that, "When we become aware of our humility, we've lost it."  Anon 

However, if humility is a strength, shouldn’t you recognise simply as that, a strength?

Our values and self-awareness need to be refined to build on our strengths. Becoming more self-aware, recognising our values and strengths is not being arrogant or egotistical; it is about responsibility.

It is contrary to humility if we fail to acknowledge (humility as) and take responsibility for developing our strengths, particularly as a leader.

St Augustine said that, “Humility is the foundation of all other virtues: hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” It is essential then that one recognises if ones humility is genuine, or mere apparition.

If our virtues (values) are an apparition then, as leaders, we may need to start asking questions around who I am?, such as: what are my core beliefs and values? What do I expect from myself in leading others, and what do I expect from those I lead?

Humility (the virtue) must be the meta-attitude that enables a proper perspective, a non-judgmental comparison and perspective of self. 

Humility should be the virtue we value most highly as our first step to becoming a great leader. It enables learning and adaptability, concern for and empowerment of others, and brings the greatest change most swiftly and thoroughly.

If we do not recognise and lead with humility as a, strength then we are more likely to walk in “false” humility, and that is repugnant to most followers.

We need to adopt realistic humility, without which no genuine assessment or advancement of self can even begin. Humility empowers us to avoid turning “realistic surveys of the facts of life” into self-defeat or alibis for bad behaviours.

Humility then becomes a sure foundation upon which true leadership and empowerment of others can progress.

If we fail to address this question of humility as a core virtue, we may never lead others or our organisations to greatness.

We as leaders must (humbly) recognise humility as a strength. If we do not value humility as a strength, particularly as a leader, we will fail to reach the greatness leadership requires of us. 

At Joseph Consulting we are passionate about developing great leaders.  Call us to see how we can help you embrace the virtues of great leadership.


Rob Boynton

Leadership | Business Consultant

Joseph Consulting


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