The quieter qualities of success

Most people have heard the phrase that there is no “I” in teamwork. The article I’d like to share this week calls attention to the fact that there’s no “I” in “clear and open-eyed” either, both of which are crucial tenets of a truly successful person.

Success is often attributed to ambition, competition, even ruthlessness. It would be naive to think there don’t exist leaders who have risen through the ranks by leaning on these qualities, though it’s arguable whether, at the end of the day, these people are truly successful. Ruthlessness may be able to get someone ahead, but do that person have the support of their team? Do they make their employees feel engaged and empowered?

An attribute of truly successful leaders that often gets overlooked is humility – by its nature, humility doesn’t seek praise. Despite being less widely talked about, being humble is crucial to success in the workplace. For example, research by Catalyst has found that humility is one of four key ingredients for making employees feel included. (The others are courage, accountability and empowerment.)

There are several ways optometrists, and business leaders generally, can begin to cultivate greater humility. As for why they should, it’s simple: humility can lead to greater feedback, new ideas, trust, engagement, and learning. Things can work better if we focus less on “I”.

According to Deepak Chopra, founder of The Chopra Foundation and author of more than 85 books, expanding your feedback loop, welcoming criticism and focusing on what others need are several ways to begin exercising practical humility.

For more suggestions, check out his article here.