Examining the Humble Mindset in Terms of Professional Success

As complex and complicated as ethics are in the modern world – arguably more so than at any other age in human history – there are still defining virtues in life that seem truly timeless. Among these are the inarguable virtues of patience, good will, generosity, and courage; to name but a very few. Today, however, we consider a virtue that stands among them with no less stature but that comes with a degree of complexity under the modern lens: humility. Humility has been a laudable quality since time immemorial, noted as an aspect of both great people and great deeds. However, just as any other matter, there are extremes in play and overindulgences in anything can see it taken too far into a negative arena. And in no other case is this closer to the truth than in weaving the virtue of humility with the world of modern business.

Humble-Mindset-and-Success-Business-man-looking-down-at-desk

Make no mistake, being overly humble has the potential, if not assurance, of severely hindering your career. Culturally, a sense of confidence is the hallmark of our business leaders. While the word carries a certain negative connotation, arrogance is not far from the mark as well; and a certain degree of arrogance can do a great deal for moving professionals up the corporate ladder. That being said, let’s not make the mistake of a measured ‘arrogance’ being synonymous with egotism or excessive vanity. Just as before, the proper temperament is found in moderation and strategy.

As such, we’ll be taking a closer look into both the positive and negative effects of the humble approach in a professional environment.

The Bad

  • Promotion

Being a self-starter, taking the initiative, demonstrative leadership abilities; all of these attributes are congruent with those things executives keep an eye out for promotion and advancement. Preventing yourself from being able to step forward into the limelight when the opportunity arises can be a real issue. This is not about always working to be the center of attention, but rather recognizing when a challenge presents itself that you are confident in your abilities and expertise to handle. With an excessive sense of humbleness or shyness, you ensure that you’ll be overlooked.

  • Labels

Office culture forms in much the same manner as any other, with experience and interaction. Given that the intentional development of humility is not among the most common of pursuits in western culture, certain misunderstandings of your peers and colleagues may arise. For instance, reputations may develop along unfair lines: A humble person runs the risk of being considered unambitious, a follower, or one not to be trusted with managerial responsibilities.

The Good

All of that taken together allows an individual to walk a more careful path, avoiding the pitfalls of too much humility without compromising their integrity. Here are a few ways in which humility may set you apart and enable you to succeed:

  • Self-assurance – A humble person is less likely to accord blame or mistakes to themselves when they know it to not be the case.
  • A humble person generally has a greater sense of others, a compassion toward their peers and superiors that is independent of their status or recognition.
  • Building relationships and strong networks comes most easily to those who don’t have too much overt concern about getting themselves ahead before all else. A strong and viable network of people across the professional spectrum who know you for a genuinely good and caring person is, in a word, invaluable.

A powerful and mature sense of humility is ideal for maintaining an internal balance, not allowing the pressures and expectations of the professional world to wear you down.

Humble-Mindset-and-Success-Professional-Woman-Reading-Paper-in-Conference-Room

It all comes down to this: As with any virtue, humility is a personal matter of pursuit and growth. Take all things into accord and measure them against your personal morals and ethics. How you live your life and engage in your career is a decision you and no other will have to live with.

Further Reading:  What Business Leaders Can Learn From One Another

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

 

Four Proactive Ways to Reflect on Your Workday

We all experience those days at work when we feel we could have reached an additional goal, made more efficient use of our time, or just generally performed better. While we would prefer that every day be a victory, there are always tactics that can help ensure a better tomorrow.  What is most important is that we are realistic with ourselves without being harshly critical. Even after a great day at work, it’s still a good idea to assess the day’s events to boost future learning.

So, how do successful people reflect following a long day at the office? Kat Boogaard is an author specializing in careers and self-development, as well as contributor to The Muse and Inc.com.  She suggests employees and professionals of all kinds identify four basic factors at the end of each work day.

Reflecting on Your Workday - Businessman smiling by window

1.  Recognize what went well for you.

Boogaard reminds workers that in the midst of our daily chaos and responsibilities, it’s easy to lose sight of the positive. This is why it’s crucial to take stock of even the minor wins you experienced which may have gone unnoticed at the time. According to Boogaard, “Not only will this give you that much-needed time to recognize your progress and achievements, but it will also put you in a much more positive and confident state of mind for the next workday”.

2.  Look for areas where you can improve.

Even the most incredibly productive and successful day at the office can be improved upon. Without being overly analytical of personal flaws, it is still a good idea to pinpoint any areas where you might have been able to improve your performance; and what better time to start than tomorrow?  Boogaard suggests, “Zone in on one – or even a few – areas where you’d like to step up your game the next day, and you’re sure to see constant progress in your productivity levels, work relationships, and overall outlook”.

3.  Plan your first task for the next day.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it’s most helpful to view your responsibilities not as one large mission, but rather as a list of basic tasks. “To get some much-needed clarity, think through your current workload and pick the one key thing that you want to work on when you get to the office in the morning”, says Boogaard. She continues, “That way, you can sit down at your desk with a clear head and a targeting plan in place”.

4.  Identify the best part of your day.

While it may be in our nature to focus more on the negative, it’s important to keep your thoughts positive even after a tumultuous day on the job. What’s more, a pessimistic mood can easily spill over into the next day. Boogaard recommends employees conclude by indentifying their favorite part of that particular day. She reiterates, “Whether you received a great compliment from a superior or got to indulge in a delicious piece of ice cream cake during a birthday celebration for a co-worker, thinking about something that makes you crack a smile will cap off your workday on a high note”.

business people group have meeting and working in modern bright office indoor

Further reading:   Five Pieces of Advice Prosperous People Don’t Ignore

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Aiming for Success? Three Notions to Leave Behind

When it comes to achieving true success in any aspect of your life, one fact is consistently true: There is always a certain amount of sacrifice associated with the realization of great accomplishments. However, in certain cases, these sacrifices may simply be the act of letting go of preconceived notions or ideas to move forward with our aspirations.

The author of “Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best” and founder of “The Unmistakable Creative Podcast”, Srinivas Rao, has identified three concepts which are best disregarded when professional success is your ultimate goal.

Success target

1. Let go of others’ definitions of success.

The real meaning of success can manifest itself in various ways for different people.  In regard to other people’s definitions of success, Rao states, “While this is one of the most difficult things to give up because it’s so deeply embedded in our cultural narrative, it’s also incredibly liberating and ultimately leads to the fullest expression of [who] you are, and what matters to you”. You are the only person who must live with the aftereffects of your decisions, therefore, living according to your own principals and value system should be of utmost importance. Rao reminds readers, “By understanding the essence of our goals – what it is that we believe our achievements will bring us – it’s easier to give up other people’s expectations”.

2. Release your fear of judgment.

Feeling as though you must always provide others with an explanation for your plans and actions may actually sap you of your confidence and motivation. It’s crucial to remember that one individual’s path toward success will never be completely identical to that of another.  Rao reiterates, “Once you give up your fear of judgment, your ability to work changes quite drastically. You become more present, productive, and start to gather creative momentum. You focus on the process, not the prize, and you start to see progress toward the life you want to live”.

3. Free yourself of past baggage.

While it’s true that our history helps shape who we are, it’s also easy to remain trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts regarding our past. There comes a time in our lives where we must be confident in the fact that we have learned from our mistakes; and any resentments or grudges we may hold toward people or past situations must also be left behind. Rao points out, “When you give all that up, you end up ditching a lot of baggage. You walk through the world with a sense of lightness, peace, and freedom that makes its way into everything else that you do”.

Successful business people

The Takeaway

Without sacrificing or giving up antiquated ideas and pessimistic thought patterns, you are not allowing better and more promising opportunities to enter your life. It is up to you to identify your own idea of success and delineate the path and strategy that works best for you.

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200