I was recently flipping through a book on leadership. In one chapter the author set out what he considered to be the most important characteristics of a leader. By conservative count there must have been 20 attributes listed. I thought any human that possessed all those traits would have to be a combination of Peter Drucker and The Six Million Dollar Man! I found it of interest that the last trait on his list would be my first-humility. I raise this point in my book Humanity at Work: Encouraging Spirit, Achievement & Truth to Flourish in the Workplace (Chapel Hill Press 2008);
“First, I am reminded that the one essential trait of all who have greatness of character is humility. Humility is the sire of all other virtues. People with humility care for others. They are stewards of the lives in their charge. ..when someone lacks humility there is no basis for trust. And a worthwhile relationship cannot exist without trust. Be it a relationship between two people, an individual and an organization, or an institution on which individuals and organizations rely. If you expend the energies of your being for just one purpose, it should be to assure that you do not breach the trust another has placed in you!”, I go on to write that,
“… many great leaders have a whirlpool of talents and one steadfast virtue—humility. Great leaders do not covet being lionized. They are first and foremost steward-servants to those they lead. Fred Rogers—yes, Mr. Rogers—noticed this as well: “The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met through the years is their obvious delight in what they are doing . . . and it seems to have little to do with worldly success. They just love what they are doing and they do it in front of others” (The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember, 2003). ”
Is there anything more powerful than to witness an individual humble himself or herself in the service of another?