We have come to expect successful entrepreneurs to be bold and outspoken as so many have been over the past several years. With such up-front and bold personalities as Steve Jobs and Mark Cuban setting the stage, it is almost an expected prerequisite to success. Actually, Mac Collective direct marketing group explain that there is a flip side to a successful personality and that is humility.
“Contrary to popular belief,” says Paul Macnamara, “one of the key personality traits of a successful entrepreneur is humility.” Paul Macnamara is the Director of Mac Collective and one who has attained a high level of success as a marketing entrepreneur. He knows that there is a common misconception of what being humble means. “If you are humble it doesn’t mean that you have self-doubts. Humility is a state of mind in which you are less concerned with yourself than you are with others.”
Sales associates are often advised that to be good at selling you need to be great at listening. This is in line with being humble. People are more apt to open up and confide in someone who is humble and willing to listen to what they have to say. “We have proven time and again that selling involves hearing what it is the customer is looking for and of course, hearing implies listening. Really listening,” Paul Macnamara says.
Besides being a great listener, a person who is humble learns to test what they are hearing, test their gut level feelings. Rather than having an oversized ego, humility demands that you question all your own assumptions as well as those of others. How is this accomplished? A simple email usually works well where you can question others and then have a written record of responses that you can collate and assess.
Humility also demands that you admit it when you are wrong about something. Instead of trying to save face, learn those magic words, ‘I’m sorry.’ You can get much further when you are willing to admit that you haven’t got it right and are willing to correct yourself and go on from there. Being successful means that you exhibit leadership qualities and one of the most important of those qualities is humility.
Don’t ever mistake humility for self-consciousness or self-doubt. Humility is actually a sign of strength where you have the courage to put your ego aside for the success of the team. That’s a true leader who knows the surest path to success.