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                  leader to better relate to their subordinates while providing valuable feedback.
When leaders use those elements, it becomes readily apparent; the opposite is also true, especially in times of intense stress. One of the best opportunities for a young Army leader to perfect their warrior tasks and battle drills by briefing
an Operations Order (OPORD) or staff mission analysis brief to their superior officer generally occurs during their first field assignment. This is a stressful situation in a young leader’s life. If it is done correctly, that leader will have his platoon or section aid him by providing valuable feedback before his superior officer’s initial brief.
For the hubristic leaders, the criticism that follows is daunting, and an acknowledgment
that they are not as good as they should be and
the advice is likely shrugged off. For the leader with humility, the advice signifies that his unit cares about their shared success and wants their appointed leader to look “good” to the boss. In other words, the humble leader understands that sharing is caring. The hubristic leader sees the advice as a challenge of power and will quickly clarify that the sharing attempt should never occur again. The result is a difference in building trust and respect in either direction.
To receive the best value out of people and their talents, people have to respect and not fear their leaders. Fear stifles talent by preventing effective problem solving and communication. Lack of respect may also lead to personnel displaying rebellious behavior or avoidance tendencies, which, in turn, prevents organizations from enjoying the diverse talents in their pool.
Also, the Army has the value of selfless service. By definition, a person cannot both serve in a selfless and selfish capacity. Selfish breeds too many uses of the pronoun “I.” This potentially can make people believe they serve as a means to an end rather than as a viable member of a team. The contrast is stark because the use of the pronoun “I” in an overwhelming fashion is likely a sign of hubristic behavior.
In summary, humble behavior is a natural catalyst for empowerment, while hubris serves as a method to offend through extreme ambition and
pride. Hubris tendencies lead to negative results, much like in King Oedipus’s case, whose hubris prevented him from seeing the truth of his actions. The result is unattractive to people that you support and lead and likely a less effective organization because a hubristic leader makes people feel weak, ineffective, and humiliated when mistakes come to light. In contrast, the attractive nature of humility is far more apparent because a humble leader effectively helps people appealingly understand their strengths and weaknesses and makes them feel it is for their betterment. The result is people who actively seek out support and counsel to achieve their full potential. General (R) Colin Powell was
a proven Army leader who rose to the highest of ranks truly summed up the benefits of humble, servant leadership. He stated that leadership is solving problems. The day Soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
I believe all leaders will do well to remember such sage advice.
LTC Evans is the Commander of 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, 165th Infantry Brigade.
Humility vs. Hubris
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