When speaking of leaders, the most common traits that cross our minds are- proactive, energetic, charismatic, knowledgeable, etc. We do not consider humility as an attribute of a leader. In fact many leaders think that humility is a sign of weakness and submission. But Subhikash Roy thinks of humility as self- confidence without arrogance and the need of the hour.
The Shift in Management style
During the early 1900s when Henry Ford came up with the peoples’ car, the supplier dominated the market. Since the supplier had the control of how the product is to be and there was no major scope of personalization, the products had long life cycle. This led to the emergence of commanding leadership where the leader was the superior authority and heavy emphasis was on disciple and churning expected results out of the employees. Humans were seen as machines.
Post the Oil Crisis in 1972, businesses were looking at models that could sustain rescission well. They looked at Japanese companies like Toyota which bounced back fast. The focus shifted from the leader to the customer and the attention moved to shop floor workers where the business operations were happening. And thus came in the Participatory Management Style which required participation of all people in the team. But in the West, heavy emphasis was still on tools and processes than on people.
With times, the production line has changed. With fewer products made of a huge variety, changing technological trend, short product cycles, etc., it is impossible for one person to know everything.
Companies are now using Collaborative Management Style wherein all the departments collaborate to get the best results. Decision makers in such an environment needs to express humility and take in information from various sources.
Attributes of successful collaborative style leaders.
- They understand themselves objectively. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and know where they need help.
- They trust their people and understand that questioning people’s ability frequently will lead to them being defensive.
- They realize that success is a team effort and give credit when it is due.
- They establish a good two-way communication flow.
Thus, leaders should continuously coach and mentor their subordinates while keeping an open mind to their suggestions and approach. And that can be achieved if the leader is secure in his/her abilities and humble.