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  • Writer's pictureRuss Powell

To Get Ahead, You Need Both Ambition and Humility

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Came across an insightful podcast this morning related to an important Middle Path leadership principle -- in particular, the integration of confidence and humility. In #middlepathleadership programs we refer to this as "openness" and part of its value is that it keeps us out of the #knowertrap. When we're leaning toward arrogance (over-confidence), we remain *open* to the idea that we don't know everything. When leaning toward deference (over-humility) we remain *open* to asking questions.

Amer Kaissi, Ph.D. notes that humble leaders keep their feet on the ground. He reminds us that the word humility comes from the Latin "humus" and "what humus meant for the Romans and for the Greeks is to be close to the ground and close to the earth.

"When we apply that definition within the context of leadership, it’s that understanding of the leader who... stays close to his or her team members... and listens to them with curiosity and with humility."

He also reminds us that the need for this balance is situational -- "when you need to get your soldiers over the hill, it’s not a time to collect opinions."

Check it out. Good stuff.


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