Humility in Business

By Tom Reilly, author of The Humility Paradox


Strong, stable businesses have embraced humility as a cultural virtue. Humility is the most powerful paradox in business. What masquerades as meekness is really strength. The perceived weakness of this foundational virtue is the source of its power. That’s why it is a paradox. Humility is a necessary requirement for much of what makes your business strong. For your business to be strong you need synergy, innovation, serving attitude, and empathy.

There is strength in numbers. This strength is synergy. Synergy happens only when pieces come together. In business, this means that teams and team members must work together. This collective strength is synergy. Synergy cannot happen when teams or team members battle each other. It is impossible to be a good team member when someone is more focused on creating a job for oneself than value for the team. Teamwork demands that members subordinate their egos for the greater good of the team. Humility makes this possible. This makes humility the necessary requisite of synergy.

Growth and development are born in the realization that something or someone can improve. Nothing can improve without admitting that there is room to improve. This realization and acknowledgement begins with humility. Humility recognizes limitations, weaknesses, and imperfections. This makes humility the necessary requisite of growth.

Serving others requires a selflessness that comes only from humility. Serving is an act of subjugation, which is humility. It is a statement that one places a premium on satisfying the needs of others. Setting aside one’s personal interests in the service of others is an act of humility. This makes humility the necessary requisite of serving.

Seeing another’s point of view requires that people suspend judgement in an attempt to understand others. There is great power in this understanding. Sellers who practice this act of humility are customer-focused. To see another’s point of view requires a selflessness that comes from humility. This makes humility the necessary requisite of understanding others.

Humility is a solid foundation upon which to build your go-to-market strategy.

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