I had a good friend a number of years ago who was a self-professed, self-help glutton. He was always reading his latest find on spirituality and becoming a better person. I remember sitting down with him one day while he was reading, and he was excited to share a quote with me that he had just read. He thought my team would get a lot out of it. I received a great deal from it, and I have since shared it with all of my teams.
The quote was about humility. It was a very simple statement about being humble, but one we both agreed would be a profound quote toward the rest of our respective lives and careers.
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." C. S. Lewis
It is easy for me to confess that my ego, pride, and ambition often get in my way in regard to becoming the person and coach I want to be. I often let me personal experiences, knowledge, and personal sense of responsibility and ownership take over team and collaborative situations. When I should be listening, I often find myself talking. It is a terrible flaw, but I detest wasting time as much as I detest losing, so I can easily let my drive get in the way of letting a cooperative process complete itself.
It is during these times that I try to remember and repeat the quote above. To truly be humble, I need to accept that my ideas may have a proven value, but they are not the only way to skin a cat. When I do take a breath and think of my self less and think more about the perspective of others, I often get rewarded with new knowledge and wisdom. I cannot think of a better reason to shut my trap and let others lead me every once a in a while.