(610) 463-5492 JOHN@JOHNGRONSKI.COM

Humility Cultivates Trust

Ego Breeds Suspicion

Humility Cultivates Trust

by MG John L. Gronski (USA, Ret)

C. S. Lewis was a British writer and theologian. He had a wonderful quote about humility that has provided a nice guidepost that I try to follow. He said, “Humility is not thinking less about yourself. It is thinking about yourself less.”

Not “My Way”, but “Our Way”

An egocentric person is the exact opposite of a humble person. Someone with an ego that is out of control tends to try to control everything.  Enter the classic micromanager (aka “jerk”); someone who would tell followers, “It is my way or the highway”.

I think almost anyone would prefer working for a boss who is humble rather than egocentric. The humble leader has the welfare of their followers at the forefront while the egocentric leader is most interested in themselves.

The Value of Humility

A humble leader does a much better job cultivating trust in an organization. A normal reaction of a humble leader to a mistake they made is to apologize, accept blame, and then go about correcting the wrongs they have made. A humble person will reflect on mistakes they have made and try to learn from those mistakes. They will also spend the time to ensure the entire organization learns from and improves as a result of mistakes.

An egocentric leader on the other hand generally will never admit they made a mistake even though everyone else on the team can see that they have. An ego-driven person will always look to blame someone else and try to cover things up. Unfortunately for others in the organization, an egocentric leader will fail to make things right. This means that person is doomed to make those mistakes again. No one seems to learn, and everyone loses.

I have found that a mistake is not a failure if everyone learns from the mistake.  Ego breeds failure while humility cultivates trust.

You Can Learn Humility

To develop humility, focus on the following. Strive to be authentic and be yourself. Although it is wise to model yourself after effective leaders, do not try to be someone you are not. Understand that everyone makes mistakes. No one expects a leader to be infallible, but everyone expects a leader to be honest and demonstrate integrity.

When the team achieves success share that success with the team rather than taking credit yourself. When the team fails, do not place blame on the team, but shoulder the blame yourself. Do these things and you will develop humility and at the same time cultivate trust within your organization.

Remember in the game of life, when Humility versus Ego, Humility is the clear winner every time.

Cultivating Trust with DVIRC

The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) is a very progressive association made up primarily of business owners who manufacture products in the Greater Philadelphia region. DVIRC conducts many training opportunities for its members over the course of the...

Iron-Sharpened Leadership at NATO HQ Brussels

The Iron-Sharpened Leadership World Tour continued in Brussels, Belgium on May 12th, and 13th 2022. John Gronski provided a leadership keynote address to an assembly of NATO administrators, diplomats, and military personnel at an inaugural NATO Leadership Summit. The...

Look Up To Find Answers

Guest Blog by Randall Doizaki I know “Ain’t” is not a proper word in the English language but it fits well in calling cadence (for marching) in the military and I thought it was appropriate to use with a coworker who I observed so deep in thought that she was missing...

The Pursuit of Righteousness

By John Gronski “Friday Night Lights” is a movie about Texas football and in particular Odessa Permian High School. In a scene from a halftime speech given by Permian football coach Gary Gaines played by actor Billy Bob Thornton, the coach gives an impassioned...

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College Iron-Sharpened Leadership and Resiliency Workshop John Gronski and JoAnn Tresco conducted an Iron-Sharpened Leadership and Resiliency Workshop for law enforcement professionals in the Tampa, Florida region and February 16 and 17 at...

Be in the Moment

By John Gronski Many times, we hear leaders telling their followers and teammates to “be in the moment”. This includes leaders from many sectors including business, sports, law enforcement, and the military. But what does “be in the moment” really mean? I think Sean...

Winston Wisdom

  Winston Churchill is one of the 20th century's most iconic leaders and orators. During the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 Churchill was particularly inspiring and instilled the spirit of resiliency into the British people. It was Churchill himself who...

The A.S.K. Principle

By John Gronski "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8 Matthew 7:7-8 provides some wise...

What’s Your Iron-Sharpened Edge?

By John Gronski Iron-Sharpened Leadership focuses on leadership attributes such as demonstrating integrity, caring for others, the ability to provide others a vision and purpose, having the courage to decide, being an effective communicator, and demonstrating...

Respect, Integrity, and Decision-making

By John Gronski Lessons Learned in Poland In early October 2021, I was invited by the Polish Territorial Defense Forces to come to Poland and provide a series of leadership workshops at several Polish military academies, civilian universities, and military units....
Share This