What type of qualities do leaders need to have in order to be great? I think it’s generally believed that great leaders must be outgoing, powerful, persuasive, and charismatic. Humility isn’t usually considered to be an important quality in a leader. But new research suggests that it might be the most important quality of all.

Leaders who are high in humility often don’t get much attention because they tend to fly under the radar. But even though they might not get a lot of acclaim, they do get great results. Researchers have found that humble leaders are associated with the following:

  • Low employee turnover
  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Close-knit teams
  • High performing teams

Overall, researchers have found that teams with humble leaders perform more effectively and produce more high-quality work than teams with leaders who are low in humility.

Humble leaders excel at their jobs because they tend to be very open to feedback, they’re eager to learn, they ask for help when they need it, and they appreciate (and utilize) their employees’ strengths. When they succeed, they give their teams credit and recognition.

Do you think humility is an important quality in a leader? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below. And if you’d like to find out how humble you are, you can take a free, online personality assessment! It’s called the HEXACO Personality Inventory-Revised. One of the traits that it measures is “Honesty-Humility.”


Shellenbarger, S. (2018, October 9). The best bosses are humble bosses. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-bosses-are-humble-bosses-1539092123