“A great leader sets up successors for greater success”, said Michael Collins of the power of humility in his book Good to Great. More recently, successive waves of companies have shifted from a culture of overconfidence to a humbler, ‘always learning’ approach.
It’s a good example to set to young people joining the workplace today. In our deeply complex world, no single person has all the answers, and each one of us needs to work with others to solve problems. A good leader is one who can spot their own strengths and weaknesses, and will actively look for people who can help balance them out. Recognising our own weaknesses isn’t always easy, but it’s only by doing so that we can work through them and with them.
Another quote for you. In his book The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard says “people with humility do not think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less”.
This to us is such an important point. Being humble isn’t about devaluing your own contribution. It isn’t about lacking courage or toughness. In fact, it’s about being strong enough to put others – your customers and your business – first.
It’s also about being secure enough in one’s own abilities to actively seek the help and guidance of others. For too long, the ‘command and control’ approach to management dominated, which left little room for openness to feedback and criticism.
In a business such as Elanco – where humility is one of our core values – it’s about recognising the value of different disciplines and perspectives in a team, whatever their level or function. And it’s essential we listen to people outside our business and recognise that we can always do more.
For us, humility is about being honest with yourself about your own weaknesses and always looking for ways in which you can do better. This in itself, is something you can be proud of.
Tags: Elanco Life ,