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Humility: The Secret Ingredient of Success Hardcover – October 1, 2016
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The author very clearly lays out the definition of humility as the ability to keep your accomplishments in perspective, so that you treat everybody with kindness and respect, and the ability to accept criticism along with praise. I find this definition complete as it highlights the true meaning of humility. If we are indeed humble people, it is not that we become mousey people or doormats. Instead humble people have confidence in their strengths. Humble people are able to acknowledge the strengths in others, they are able to respect everyone, they are able to admit their mistakes, and they are able to seek feedback from others.
The main point the author tries to get across to us the reader is that not only is humility a valued commodity even in today’s business world, but that it may well be the most important factor for success. The author cites example after example of both historical and current people who were humble people, who were a success in their endeavors due to their humility. But the author doesn’t stop there; he highlights a multitude of examples were arrogance (the opposite of humility) was their downfall.
I found this book educational and challenging. Humility is too many times an overlooked and misunderstood quality in today’s me first society. I have to say that this author is brave to take on the challenge to defend humility and build a very clear case for its importance, but I for one am glad he did. I sincerely wish everyone would pick up a copy of this book and read it with an open mind, allowing the book to stir in their thoughts.
Get your copy not for the entertainment value but for the opportunity to grow in your understanding and the opportunity to become a humbler person. And that brings me to another point; the author even explains that humility can be learned, that we can make a conscious choice today to walk in humbleness.
I will end this review with a list from chapter 3 of humble leadership traits
1. Humble leaders are always learning
2. Humble leaders are servants
3. Humble leaders respect the individual
4. Humble leaders surround themselves with smart people
5. Humble leaders surrender control
6. Humble leaders demonstrate genuine empathy and caring for subordinates
7. Humble leaders treat customers like royalty
Are these not traits that we need more of?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in return for my honest review
Pat Williams is the co-founder and Senior VP of the Orlando Magic after a lifetime of managing various sports teams. He began to research humility after interviewing a leadership expert, Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel. Dr. Bethel had met Katherine Graham, the now-late head of the Washington Post. Mrs. Graham felt that the ‘absence of arrogance’ (pg. 13) is the number one trait of great leaders. Since then, Mr. Williams has researched leaders, noting that humility, or the absence of arrogance, ‘may be the most important trait any human being can possess’ (pg. 19). Mr. Williams further believes that humility does not exclude self-confidence as long as they are in balance, and that it is a skill that can be learned rather than a character trait that one is or is not born with (what a relief!).
Written in a conversational rather than a teaching tone, the authors show us what the arrogance of leaders has cost people, including Napoleon and Hitler. Even more so, the authors include examples of great leaders with the trait of humility. Reading the history of some of the people selected was fascinating to me, and there are some who I admire even more after seeing them through his descriptions, such as Abraham Lincoln who went to great lengths to befriend rather than alienate people, and Nelson Mandela. There were many leaders, such as George Washington, who learned humility as the result of arrogant behavior. Mentors to the author through his years in sports management are included, also. Most would agree that the greatest example of humility in history is Jesus.
Included are nine chapters, each beginning with a quote about humility, with several addressing humility in the business arena. One of the business models that was very interesting was the original design of Hewlett-Packard; the principals of HP had designed the kind of company they wanted to have, with regards to the importance of their employees and customers, before they had determined what they were going to design and manufacture!
There are several well-explained lists throughout the book that can be helpful, depending on the reader’s needs, such as “Seven Traits of a Humble Leader” and two that are on my new ‘go-to’ reference: “How to Communicate with Confidence and Humility” and “How to be Humble”.
There is so much information in ‘Humility: The Secret Ingredient of Success’ by Pat Williams with Jim Denney that is important to everyone for whatever season of life one is in. Whether one is in out in the workplace (of any kind), if their workplace is their home and children, or if one serves through ministry or through elected positions in government, this book makes gleaning benefits from the learning experiences of others profitable to one’s spiritual, emotional, and social life. I highly recommend it!
With a grateful heart, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing; as a courtesy, I am posting my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no compensation was received.