Leadership Without Ego

Leadership Without Ego

Reflecting on nearly five years hosting the Leadership Lab podcast and interviewing over 225 guests, one word stands out among many of them as key to their success: humility.

Humility, often underrated, is a cornerstone of influential leadership. Like kindness, it’s not about being meek or timid; it’s about recognizing your limitations and valuing others’ contributions.

Here are three aspects to understand about humility as a leader.

1. Humility isn’t self-deprecation; it’s self-awareness.

A humble leader is aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They don’t shy away from acknowledging their faults or mistakes. This self-awareness fosters an environment of trust and openness, encouraging others to share their ideas and perspectives.

2. Humility isn’t silence; it’s active listening.

Humble leaders are excellent listeners. They understand that true wisdom comes from hearing and considering diverse viewpoints. This isn’t passive silence but an active engagement, showing respect and valuing the opinions of others.

3. Humility isn’t invisibility; it’s enabling others to shine.

In humility, leaders don’t seek the spotlight but rather direct it towards their teams. They celebrate the achievements of others and give credit where it’s due. This approach boosts team morale and cultivates a culture of shared success.

When expertise and humility are combined, they create a powerful leadership style. Leaders who embody these traits are successful, deeply respected, and admired. They build lasting relationships, foster a positive work culture, and drive meaningful change.

In essence, leadership transcends achieving goals and managing tasks. It involves humility—treating people with respect, listening to them genuinely, acknowledging their contributions, and leading with a heart and a head. These qualities truly define a leader’s success and legacy.

Make it a great day!



Patrick Leddin, PhD

Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.