Why Humility Delivers More Results Than Arrogance

Courage and humility:

You’d be wrong if you said humility is kin to fear.

Courage is the willingness and ability to fail and try again.

Arrogance needs to appear perfect so it plays it safe. It won’t try unless success is certain. Arrogance fears and rejects failure.

Humility accepts responsible failure and keeps going.

Wisdom and humility:

The arrogant become fools.

Arrogance learns slowly, if at all. It won’t accept advice or guidance from others because it believes it already knows best.

Learning is hard for arrogance.

Arrogance knows. Humility knows there’s more to know.

Humility learns from failure, improves, and gains insight. Arrogance, on the other hand, repeats ineffective behaviors and blames others for failure.

Humility learns because it listens. Arrogance despises listening.

Arrogance points fingers.

Humility takes responsibility and grows.

There is no growth apart from taking responsibility.

Humility and results:

Humility respects and appreciates others. Teams work hard for leaders who appreciate their hard work.

Humility connects with others and honors their talent.

Arrogance stands aloof and feels threatened when others shine.

Five practices of humility:

  1. Learning.
  2. Listening.
  3. Courage.
  4. Connection.
  5. Responsibility.

Which of the five practices of humility are most relevant to you?

How are courage, learning, and results connected to humility?



The Listening Sandwich and Inspiring Others

Banter provides relational energy but don’t focus on yourself.

People enjoy hearing leaders talk about themselves as long as they don’t talk about themselves all the time.

The listening sandwich:

  1. Show interest in others.
  2. Share a bit about yourself (Banter).
  3. Show interest in others again.


A leader told me his word for 2018 is “Care”. We practice the “One Word” principle described in the book of the same name.

Instead of asking him a series of questions, I shared a bit of myself, “My word for 2018 is “Book”. For a moment, the conversation turned toward me.

When banter turns ugly:

Banter turns ugly when it becomes a monologue about yourself.

Inspiring leaders make conversations about others. Yes, share a bit of yourself. Let people know what you think. But a series of machine-gun-questions makes people wonder what you’re after.

Banter lowers barriers.

From banter to curiosity and inspiration:

Banter – sharing a bit of yourself – sets people at ease.

I have questions about “Care” for my friend. The fact that he knows my “word” establishes a connection point as long as we discuss BOTH words.

I want to inspire my friend as he “cares” in 2018. The questions I have for him don’t feel like an inquisition because he knows my word.

Curiosity strengthens connection, nurtures humility, and inspires others.


  1. You’re already a caring leader. How did you happen to choose “Care” as your word for 2018?
  2. What’s important about caring?
  3. How will you take your Care-game to the next level?
  4. How’s your care-game going?

Because he knows my word, curiosity about his word is vulnerability for me.

How might leaders employ the listening sandwich?

When is sharing about yourself out of line for leaders? Too much?


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