A friend of mine, Matt Hudson, tweeted this definition:
“LEADER: An individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will.”
There are many times (almost every time) that I’m called upon to lead when I’m not the smartest or most able one on hand. It takes “humility” to determine that my role is not to come up with the right answer.
“Humility” says the right answer is within the team.
“Humility” says that the important thing is to make sure all the questions are asked and everybody has their say.
“Humility” says we celebrate the best ideas and courageous communication wherever it is found.
The “intense will” is also key.
“Intense will” sees to it the team strives for the goal.
“Intense will” doesn’t quit in the face of failure.
“Intense will” fights off fatigue to concentrate on the issue at hand.
“Intense will” finds another gear and a second wind.
An “intense will” inspires others.
It’s true: you can be humble and model leadership at the same time.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.