Humility in leadership is crucial – displaying the fact that you don’t know it all shows you are always open and ready to learn – modelling the behaviour you want to see more of. It builds trust and transparency – which is what leadership is all about – can you think of a great leader you don’t trust? The behaviours are one and the same.
Vulnerability is also important as it displays a behaviour which is critical in high performing teams. It’s often stigmatised as just showing your weaknesses – but actually it’s showing your weaknesses and your strengths – wearing both of them on your sleeves – because you need to create an environment where you know exactly when you can lean on someone else, and they know exactly when they can lean on you. Then the team starts operating that way.
As a leader – humility showcases “I need you” which is important – “I value you” – “you are important here”. That goes a very long way to building team trust and cohesion and helps enormously for new leaders trying to get abreast of a new team’s operations – as I found in my last role.
The difference between high and low performing organisations has been found to be told apart by the level of safety and vulnerability that is displayed. The safer and more vulnerable the environment – the more transparency you have in a team.
Any business environment where people are afraid to share their issues and screw ups will have problems.
If you want to create an organisation that is long lasting, where people feel they want to be a part of, where turnover is low and operations maintain a level of effectiveness when things go south and sideways – create an environment of trust and safety – the foundational element of any high performing team.
If you want to invest in your ability to lead a high-performing team, we should talk.
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Mehalah Beckett is a consultant, coach and trusted advisor passionate about people, the planet and empowering others to inspire positive change. She coaches purpose-driven leaders to impossible goals, hosts Masterminds for hungry entrepreneurs and guides businesses through B-Corp. What can I help you achieve in 2021?