We have all been in those meetings, with those people who have the ‘data point’ nobody else has, those individuals that have prepared the answers to 100 questions in case 2 are asked. The ‘knowledge is power’ meetings”.
This type of culture results in inherently political and self-serving behavior unless the knowledge is harnessed for the benefit of creating a high performing team through that subject matter expertise. Too often this behaviour wastes organizational resources and energy.
We see two things are changing rapidly in many high performing organizations:
- Digital transformation, and especially machine learning, is providing more common insights, in real time, to more people, challenging the knowledge is power paradigm
- Leadership behaviour needs to become more driven by the creation, nurturing and growth of a community which is successful as a business and harnesses and acts rapidly on those insights
AS THE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER PARADIGM UNRAVELS IN MORE AND MORE ORGANIZATIONS AND CONTEXTS, ADOPTING A MORE HUMBLE LEADERSHIP APPROACH IS MORE LIKELY TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
As Edward D Hess and Katherine Ludwig argue in Humility is the New Smart, quoting Tangey, Peterson, and Seligman, the psychological attributes of humility are:
- having an accurate view of your abilities and achievements (not over- or under-estimated)
- being able to acknowledge your mistakes, imperfections, gaps in knowledge and limitations
- being open to new ideas, contradictory information, and advice
- having a low focus on self or a tendency to ‘forget the self’
- appreciating the value of all things and the many different ways other people and things contribute to the world
Celebrate diversity and openness, low self-orientation, active listening and emotional intelligence…by being humble enough to lead successfully over the long term. This is what Hess and Ludwig call the ‘BIG US’ instead of the ‘BIG ME’.
If you want to understand how humility is increasingly important to business growth and how to make it come to life in your organization, please reach out.