Do You Possess This One Critical Leadership Quality?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Senior management has put you into a position of responsibility for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is likely all about setting an example for how team members should behave in order to excel in the company’s culture. You should be modeling behavior that demonstrates expectations regarding work hours and company dress code. Other expectations typically revolve around personal responsibility and characteristics like telling the truth. You know, the little details you should have learned in kindergarten.

As an ex FBI agent, LaRae Quy knows plenty about interpersonal relationships. One wrong move in her previous profession could have gotten her killed. In a recent SmartBrief post, Quy explains the importance of being honest when engaging with team members. And, she points out that honesty involves more than admitting the truth during an interrogation session.

Quy drills in on humility as a key part of honesty. Strong leaders are not known for their ability to be right 100% of the time. Instead, a humble leader will admit she doesn’t know everything. In fact, she’ll often make decisions which will result in crushing failures. The important aspect of her leadership ability is to recognize she made a mistake, admit it to the group, and promise to do better the next time around.

Humility doesn’t mean you should back away from making decisions. In many cases, it’s appropriate to engage in respectful dialog with team members to solicit feedback and opinions and use their input to lay the groundwork for your next big decision. These meetings can give you insight into why team members are making recommendations. These folks will have knowledge and suggestions that can help you and the team succeed. Acknowledge their contributions and encourage them to continue coming up with new ideas.

The decision-​making responsibility is still yours, and the negative and positive outcomes will fall on your shoulders, too. Your reactions to both good and bad outcomes show your team members the kind of leader you are. Stay humble, and you’ll win the respect of your team members and their commitment to work harder on the next project.