Quick — what’s the most important quality for a leader to have? Vision, energy, and the ability to motivate are all good, yes. But if you have to pick one, try cultivating humility.
You may feel that in order to lead effectively, you have to project the image that you’re always in control. But that image would be dishonest — because no one ever is.
Instead, you’ll do a better job of both managing and inspiring others if you develop the humility to be honest about what you don’t know and ask your team for help when you need it. Rather than trying to puff yourself up as some kind of master of the universe (which, let’s be honest, probably isn’t going to go over so well with the troops, anyway), you can set an example by demonstrating the openness, self-awareness, and flexibility that comes from being able to say, “I don’t have it all figured out.”
Others will soon feel less pressure to put on a show themselves. As a result, your whole team will communicate more effectively, avoid potential pitfalls, and overcome challenges more smoothly when they do arise.
Plus, you’ll all probably like each other more.