Cultivating Humility

May 19, 2018

Quote of the Week

"Without humility, there can be no humanity." --John Buchan

How To Cultivate Humble Leadership

We have all seen and heard how modern society seems to value self-promotion over quiet humility, yet most of us would like to nurture humility in ourselves and our children.  Surprising things happen when we humble ourselves, open ourselves up to others and their ideas, and interact with the world from the perspective of being curious and open-hearted.  This week's featured article from Greater Good Magazine shares the story of an extraordinary principal who changed the culture of her school through humble leadership. 

"A teacher recently told me that after explaining to her middle school students how their test scores impact the school, one student raised his hand and said, “It seems like we exist for the school rather than the school existing for us.” How many school leaders and teachers would agree with this statement? And how many would love to reverse the situation?  That’s exactly what one principal did. And it transformed the school culture.

Her secret? Humility.

Humility and leadership are words not often used in the same sentence. But nascent research is revealing that school leaders who recognize their strengths and limitations, remain open to feedback, ideas, and advice, and express appreciation for the value that others bring to the table—all cornerstones of humility—create a school culture in which teachers are more satisfied with their jobs and also believe in the school leader's ability to lead." [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: The Tower
By: Richard Paul Evans
Ages: 4 and up

"A young man wishes to be great. He believes he will achieve his goal only when everyone in the village looks up to him. So he constructs a wooden tower that reaches to the clouds, but soon he becomes lonely. One day a passing bird tells the young man of an old woman who is greater than he. So he descends from his tower and discovers the poor woman feeding a flock of birds. She shares the wisdom that to be great is not to be higher than another, but to lift another higher."  --Publishers

Be the Change

Find stories of humble leaders to share with your kids (you may get some ideas from here and also from this link) and then talk about what makes someone a good role model of humility.  What does humility look like in your family life and how can you cultivate it more as a parent/leader? This article from Greater Good also provides really useful practical suggestions on cultivating humility.