Confident humility

Are you confident in your career? How about in your personal life? Here’s another thought: are you humble? Being both confident and humble may seem like a rare combination, but according to Karin Hurt, the Founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, the two qualities make up the foundation of great leadership. To learn more, John Mattone asked Karin the following quations:

What is confident humility?

Confident humility is having an audacious vision to inspire the impossible, with the humility to know that the mission is bigger than you.

How does a leader practice confident humility in his/her day-to-day experiences?

A leader practices confidence in humility each day by operating in confidence. They lead from who they are, stand up for what matters, and always speak the truth. They also operate in humility. That means they know their vulnerabilities, admit when they make mistakes, and invite people who might challenge their vision to speak openly.

How do teams and employees respond to this type of leader?

Teams and employees who work with this type of leader demonstrate fuller engagement in their work and a greater willingness to take risks. Also, confident humility breeds more of the same. As leaders demonstrate confident humility, their employees will begin to model confident humility – and their results will improve.

Describe a team or individual who has used this mentality to make strides in their life.

I was conducting a workshop on this subject the other day when Miomir, a tall, dark, handsome, and very confident Serbian, shared a story that stopped me cold. Miomir said, “I’ve never seen anyone lead with confidence and humility during stressful times better than how my wife, Lori, led me to get my act together a few years ago.” Get his act together? I thought. This man oozed confidence and clearly stood out as one of the strongest leaders in the room. Everyone encouraged him to explain.

He said, “I was an absolute jerk. If you were to look up bad husbands on Wikipedia, my picture would’ve been there. I had been such a jerk for so many months. I knew it. She knew it. I was deeply depressed and not myself. We had no money, which made it even more difficult. But she never complained. She never seemed to take it personally. That must have taken a huge amount of humility. She knew there was something going on with me, but instead of being mad about the impact I was having on her, she rallied her confidence and came up with a plan to help me figure it out.

One day she asked: ‘Would you trust me enough to get up at 3:00am tomorrow and follow me? Would you be willing?’ I felt so guilty that I said, ‘Sure,’ even though I found the mere thought exhausting. When she woke me up that morning, I rolled over. She kissed me and said, ‘but you promised.’ Confident and persistent, she blindfolded me and took me skydiving, which was an adventure that topped my bucket-list. We both knew we couldn’t afford it, but I leaped in. As I felt myself falling, I pulled the chord and felt a familiar joy swelling up inside of me. I recognized that guy, and I liked him.

That night over beers, my wife shared the videos and pictures she took. As she played them back, she reminded me, ‘This is the man I love. This is who you really are. You can be this. You will get there again. I love you.'” Lori wanted a healthier husband and a stronger marriage. She was humble enough to see that the situation wasn’t about her and that her husband needed support, and was confident enough to take bold action. Perhaps someone you’re leading right now could use such a generous, humble, and confident approach.

Back to blog