Summary of Humble Leadership in 15 Tweets

Building personal relationships and trust can give way to leadership that enables better information flow and self-management, according to Edgar and Peter Schein. In their book Humble Leadership they suggest using our skills to form personal relations to build and strengthen relationships with the people we lead and follow.

I interviewed Edgar and Peter Schein about humble leadership and the role of trust in leadership, the skills that leaders should possess, the kind of obstacles leaders find on their path when they choose to pursue humble leadership and how to deal with them, and how humble leadership can support self-organization and self-managed teams. Read the full interview on InfoQ: Q&A on the Book Humble Leadership.

15 quotes from Humble Leadership

Here’s a set of 15 quotes from the book Humble Leadership. I’m tweeting these quotes with #HumbleLeadership.

“Leadership” is wanting to do something new and better, and getting others to go along.
Downward communication often fails because employees neither understand nor trust what executives declare as the strategy or culture they want to promulgate.
Truly successful leadership thrives in a group culture of high openness and high trust.
Seeing each other as whole persons is primarily a choice that we can make. We already know how to be personal in our social and private lives.
If we are seriously trying to get to know the other person better, we personize by asking more personal questions or revealing something more personal about ourselves.
Creating a climate that encourages people to speak up is of little value if the system does not have the capacity to hear and react appropriately to what is said.
Openness is a choice of what is important to reveal to get the job done, not just the metrics of what happened and when.
We believe teams of all sizes perform better when team members feel psychologically safe to be open with each other.
Humble Leadership can work anywhere in an organization but is vulnerable to senior executive lack of support.
If everyone knows or can know, leaders are no longer sole experts, they’re just one of the crowd, or one in the cloud!
Self-centered abuse of power is never successful in the long run, despite individualized reward systems that favor selfishness over selflessness.
Future leadership can fend off disruption with an adaptive, inclusive, organic organization design.
When all is said and done, we have to accept that leadership, culture, and interpersonal and group dynamics are intertwined conceptually and behaviorally.
The essence of Humble Leadership is maintaining acute focus on interpersonal and group dynamics.
Humble leaders embrace ambiguity and work to shrink distance between opposing sides, to achieve shared commitment built on openness and trust.

Agile Leadership

If an organization truly wants to adopt an agile way of working, a change in leadership is usually required. Traditional leadership approaches don’t work well with agile teams, we need agile leadership.

Humble Leadership is one of the modern leadership approaches that can work with agile teams; it supports self-organization and self-managed teams by focusing on openness and trust.

There are many effective leadership styles for Scrum masters. My advice to Scrum master is to explore and practice at least a couple of leadership approaches to find out what works for you in which situations.

Many agile transformations fail because people treat them as a project with a goal. It’s better to view them as a mindset and culture change, a change in behavior and leadership. You have to travel your agile journeyt in an agile way.

Books that I have read and that I like are added to my recommended books. I provide book tips in my workshops and when I work with clients. This is one of the many ways in which I share my experience.

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Ben Linders

I help organizations with effective software development and management practices. Active member of several networks on Agile, Lean and Quality, and a frequent speaker and writer.

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