Chris’s note: This is the first guest post I’ve accepted here at ChrisVanPatten.com, and I’m excited that it’s on such a unique topic. Below, Jake Magleby walks you through why humility is such an essential part of the culture of a startup and its leaders… totally worth reading and absorbing. I couldn’t agree more with Jake’s points! Share your thoughts in the comments, and enjoy the post.
There are plenty of attributes that can cause a startup business to fail. Low funds, lack of passion, and poor economic circumstances can all bring a company’s progress to a screeching halt. While these problems cannot always be solved immediately, humility is a trait that can help a business during the rough patches in its earliest phases.
Whether they are executives, department managers, or supervisors, leaders should always demonstrate some level of humility. Leaders are the face of the company to both the employees and the general public. As such they should show composure, gratitude, and humility.
A prideful leader may not have the right kind of passion and drive to truly develop the company into what it needs to be. Instead they might be focused on money, success, and recognition.
A humble leader is invested in the company’s well-being and success through the right channels. As the company grows, a humble leader will try to grow and develop along with it.
Humility is vital because it helps those in the company recognize weaknesses and what needs improvement to make the business run better and more efficiently. Leaders must remain open to advice from peers, outside sources, and even employees.
Leaders need to recognize that failure is their fault. They need to step up and take responsibility, then figure out a solution to fix the problem and avoid it in the future. There is plenty to be learned from starting up a business and even the most experienced professional will still have things to learn.
Humility is not just important in bosses, it is also vital for good employees. A large part of humility is maintaining a sense of gratitude, and employees of a startup business must realize what a great opportunity it is to work within a new company. It allows them space to share ideas, be part of the growth, and have room for promotions.
However, when employees take these opportunities for granted, they can become cocky and too complacent. Complacency is the enemy of preparedness and prevents employees from helping the company through tough situations.
Employees should be realistic about their abilities in the work place. They should not claim to be capable of doing things that they won’t be able to do. This puts employers in a tight spot and can sometimes jeopardize the well-being of the company.
They should also show extreme humility towards customers and patrons. Employees should recognize that, without their business, they would not have a job or the opportunity to help build the company up.
Startups are fragile in their first years. Every move that leaders and employees make can affect the success or failure of the company. Keep in mind that the opposite of humility is arrogance; while taking pride in a job well-done is important, it is even more vital to remain humble in success and failure alike.