Humility: A Valuable But Forgotten Business Asset

If you are building for long term success, assuming an attitude of humility is a great place for fostering personal growth and having a lasting influence on your generation and those who will come behind you.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Dollar Photo Club defines humility as "the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc." Contrary to the philosophies of business gurus who have equated accomplishment to assuming the characteristics of various wildlife in the animal kingdom such as lions, sharks and even mice, rarely have we seen humility taunted as an acceptable business attitude.

Humility has often been the posture of great men who recognized the importance of being lifelong learners. In order to assume this position, you must return to your school days where the teacher ruled the classroom. You were enchanted by her every move because she'd earned your trust by delivering the subject matter in excellence and she possessed a genuine interest in your overall success.

Napoleon Hill, the Think and Grow Rich guru, studied great business leaders for years before he shared his findings with the world. He willingly became a student of their success and built relationships with these men and crafted a literary tool that has influenced the lives of millions and will continue to do so because few books can compete with the wisdom that he shared as a result of his research. All because he humbled himself and became a student, rather than fake success until he mastered it.

Become a Student of Your Top Industry's Leaders

Ordinarily in the corporate and business communities being a champion equates to real success. Today I would like to challenge you to step out of the realm of the ordinary and do something extraordinary. Sit back and study and observe those who are wearing the 1st Place Ribbon in your sphere of business influence and measure their character, work ethic, and longevity. Ask yourself the following questions about them:

•How did they achieve their success?
•Who or what was positively changed in your industry as a result of it? (People, place, or thing)
•Will what they have contributed to your industry leave a legacy for future leaders?
•Are they celebrated or tolerated?

It is tempting to see that First Place blue ribbon on the chest of a fellow business leader and confuse what's on the outside with what's really going on inside. Be discerning when you are looking for mentors or coaches who can assist you in confidently reaching your career goals and mastering your craft.

Why Humility?

If you are building for long term success, assuming an attitude of humility is a great place for fostering personal growth and having a lasting influence on your generation and those who will come behind you. A person who speaks into your life, both figuratively and naturally, should be willing to allow you to see both their strengths and weaknesses. There are lessons to be learned from both aspects of our humanity.

If you hunger for real success in life, humility should become an active component of your business strategy. That old fuddy-duddy that you can't wait to retire may hold the key to your making a recognizable difference in your industry. Wisdom dictates that you humble yourself and listen and learn from the wealth of this individual who is a walking history book of education and business experience in YOUR industry. Take them to lunch or bring them a cup of Starbucks coffee and sit attentively gathering their pearls of wisdom and lessons learned from years of experience to become a master of the old and the new way of doing things. Willingly assume the position of humility, one of the most neglected business assets in this hemisphere and keep on winning when others have long retired their first place ribbons.


Sharon C. Jenkins is a serial "authorpreneur" and a consummate entrepreneur. Her main mission in life is to help authors and small businesses increase their "brandwidth" and to successfully pursue their passion for writing excellence. She is the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator's Writing Services. Her writing services and books are tools that assist others in realizing their literary dreams and achieve excellence in their business. She has two great loves in her life: writing and helping others.