I have been fortunate to connect with many wonderful educators and leaders through social media in recent years. They have been very helpful as they offer suggestions, provide insight and share their experiences that has allowed me to understand their journey. I was recently listening to a podcast and the question was asked, “What is an important quality of a leader”? This question was one that left me thinking and gave me deep reflection on what has allowed the leaders to continue to grow. While I thought of things like communication, relationships, visionary leadership, developing others etc….I finally landed on the answer of “Humility” as an important quality for leaders. Here are 6 insights why I think Humility is an essential attribute for a school leader:
- Desire and Passion – One reason leaders continually develop is they have a desire to grow and learn. By having humility, leaders will maintain that desire and passion as they will not fall into the trap of thinking “they have arrived”. Having a desire to grow is always a common aspect of all leaders.
- Refining Core Principles – Humility will lead to continued growth that allow leaders to further define their vision, core values and purpose. These are essential to anyone who wants to cause a positive impact. Since things change so quickly in education, so does the importance of continually adapting and refining your key principles. Humility provides the foundation for the purpose for this continual growth.
- Perspectives – Being humble and understanding that “you do not have all the answers” will allow a leader to continually get better at listening and understanding other points of view. Understanding other perspectives is critical for a leader to move a single person or organization forward as that relationship is developed on a shared understanding.
- Servant Leadership – True leaders understand their purpose is to develop their school as an amazing place of learning for students and support and nurture teacher leadership. This comes down to understanding; a leader’s purpose is about serving others – not the leader themselves. This reminded me of the phrase “Be Somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody”. Humility allows the leader to recognize importance of helping others find success.
- Relationships – The most important part of a school are the people. This starts with building trusting relationships among students, staff and parents. When leaders are humble and show that they do not know it all, but want to help the students become successful and support teachers, then it leads to a strong connection and building common ground. This will lead to a positive relationship built on intentional interactions focused on what is best for others.
- Values – When leaders are authentic and in the moment – their core values shine. Leadership is about being of service to others and supporting others in the moment. The character of a leader is more important than any strategy. Humility is an important part of the values of a leader.
As you strive to learn and stretch yourself as a leader, I would be curious on how you view the importance of humility as a leader. Reach out to me with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org