Humility is a judgement on our actions, not a badge that we can claim, and by that nature it is a hard thing to seek: if we ‘try’ to be humble to be more successful, we may be deemed to be aspiring to personal gain, whilst if we pay no heed to humility, it may get lost in our shadow. In the new work around Quiet Leadership, i have asked people to look at humility through three lenses: as what we see in our reflection, as what lies in our shadow, and how we are perceived in our impact.
It is natural to start with introspection: to look at what we see in the mirror, and that may be a sound approach. But when we look in a mirror, we see a facet of ourself that lies in the light. To look behind us, into our shadow, may give us a different view.
The notion of a shadow is something i first explored in the Socially Dynamic Organisation: the idea that the things that make us strong, also cast a shadow. A Social Leader will be willing to look into this space.
Finally: it is our actions that lead to an impact, and the impact may not have been our intent. Whilst our reflection is something that it is in our power to view, to hear our impact will require us to earn the right. To reach out into our community or Organisation and seek out those voices that fall beyond our earshot.
This work forms part of the broader Quiet Leadership Journey: a free programme that i am prototyping, based around ‘conversations with strangers’, over a four week journey. You can sign up here if you are interested in making this journey in 2021.