It is said by some that there must be balance in all things. Good versus Bad, Positive versus Negative, Light versus Dark. I have come to ponder this recently. I would like balance in life…like anyone. An 80 hour work week followed by 80 hours of fun and play would be awesome. Unfortunately the world does not work like that and I personally believe that balance is a myth for the most part. (But that is another story)
In the last 6 months I have become increasingly aware of persons that were previously colleagues or friends, perform actions that undermine my success. This idea of balance came to mind and it has troubled me greatly. I recently spoke with a friend who is the CEO of a $65 million dollar company. I asked him if he had found this to be true. He affirmed that it is has absolutely been true for him. We shared stories on the subject for a bit. It was refreshing that I was not alone in this, but disheartening to think of the future.
I have made lots of mistakes over the years and I know I will make more. Those mistakes have taught me great lessons. Lessons that I believe have helped contribute to some of my success. I do not claim to be a successful person. I look at what I have done alongside so many other capable people and I feel quite small. So I wonder to myself, if the little success that has followed me can bring such an opposing force, what will the future bring?
I am not usually a fan of the lists of leadership qualities. You have all seen them. “The XX Leadership Qualities Essential to Success”. Just input your favorite number and you will find a list on the Internet. I think they have their purpose, but there are successful leaders out there that run the whole gamut of good and bad on these lists. The one quality though I am not sure I have ever read in these lists for a successful leader is humility. Let me explain:
Having some humbleness in a leader would:
- Prevent one from spreading false rumors
- Prevent one from saying things that make them appear more powerful, such as supposedly being privy to something that others do not know
- Help one to recognize the good in others
- Help one to downplay the bad in others, because they know they have many weaknesses and made similar mistakes.
- Prevent one from putting blame on others because they are no longer in the same circle of success
- Prompt one to help others who have made similar mistakes you have
- Prevent one from taking joy or benefiting in any way from another’s misfortune
Humbleness does not mean one is melancholy. Some of the definitions of humbleness include: being conscious of one’s failings, not being arrogant, being courteous, and being respectful.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “You may have enemies whom you hate, but not enemies whom you despise. You must be proud of your enemy: then the success of your enemy shall be your success too.”
I hope that as leaders we can express some form of humbleness, not seek the misfortune of others and I hope that we can all make friends of our enemies.
I would love to hear your thoughts, stories and comments on this subject below and if you like this message, please share on the social media channels.
Cheers to your success!