Humility isn’t exactly on trend. If you talk to young modern entrepreneurs, you’ll commonly hear the idea that to be successful you need a bit of an ego. Especially in those who haven’t yet achieved great success. It’s easy to look at successful people and confuse confidence with arrogance. But this often says more about the person thinking it, than it does about actual success.
How many great leaders have you met in your life? Perhaps you can only think of one or two. It’s almost certain that those people were people you admired and felt inspired by. We feel inspired by people with character. Who take pride in their accomplishments, sure, but are also humble and work for the success of everyone around them, not just their own.
The topic has been the subject of many research studies. They invariably concluded that leaders with humility also display other characteristics linked to success. Effective listening, the ability to focus on large scale goals, and the ability to lead teams effectively.
It’s easy to understand why this would be the case. Anyone with any experience knows that success is not just the result of one person working in a vacuum. Successful people know how to spot talent. Then they know how to nurture, inspire, and grow that talent. How could a person succeed at these things if their only goal was self-aggrandizement?
In fact, an ego can be the downfall of many who may have succeeded without it. Disbelieving things that seem too good is hardwired into our brains. So what do we think about people who boast and brag and pump themselves up? We automatically assume they’re making it up. We know that those who have it, don’t need to flaunt it. It will be visible in their every action.
Success speaks for itself, so why not let it? Have some humility and let yours speak for you.
Justin Cobb is an international entrepreneur, based in the US, with a network of companies spanning the globe.