Professional will and personal humility

By Courtney Seiter via fastcompany.com   Article

The Untold Secret of Great Leaders

“We’re attracted to confidence—the true, deeply felt kind that inspires us to follow great leaders to the ends of the earth. But go one shade darker and we find arrogance.

What’s the line between the two? It seems to be humility. True confidence can stand up to a lot, and the biggest thing it can do is stand back and make room for others’ thoughts and ideas. …

Both confidence and humility have giant roles in making you a respected person—and an effective leader. The balance between the two can be incredibly delicate and nuanced, which is why I was delighted to find this sketch that perfectly illustrates the relationship:

… The paradoxical duality of these two traits is so rare that they’re at the very pinnacle of Good to Great author Jim Collins’s leadership pyramid: Level 5. Level 5 leadership, marked by what Collins calls ‘professional will and personal humility,’ is what creates great companies—those that have gone from ‘good’ to ‘great.’ …

Part of the reason that it’s a challenge to get the right blend of confidence and humility is that . . . well, we don’t know ourselves very well.

Consider this evidence: Though it’s statistically pretty impossible, 93% of us think we are better-than-average drivers. And 94% of university professors rate their teaching skills as better than average. The average person thinks she or he is . . . well, better than average.”

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