Pope Francis On Humility

“Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.” –Pope Francis, Ted Talk 2017

TED season is over. But it’s never really over because the videos can be watched and re-watched, especially when leaders give such great nuggets from which we can learn.

My biggest takeaway from this year’s TED was Pope Francis. He challenged power and having humility. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that goes beyond the ages—it’s not a new concept.

It’s amazing how important humility is when it comes to communication, it impacts how we connect, as well as our willingness to listen and ability to judge. It’s the reason Kelly and I made it a goal in our book—to show humble confidence. It’s so important to us that we strive for it internally as a company—it’s one of our core values!

The challenge is that most people think they already are humble, but they are perceived differently. Therein lies the rub. There are so many variables when it comes to exuding humility, it’s important to become aware of how you come across.

I once had a client who had no idea how his habit of raising his head and extending his chin was coming across to others. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. Lowering his chin changed people’s judgment of him because they viewed him differently.

There are over a dozen things that we do that may be perceived as unapproachable or difficult to work with. It’s different for everyone. In our work with people, we watch for behaviors of arrogance—and work towards humble confidence.

As you move up remember what Pope Francis said and embrace humility. It’s fine to feel it, but make sure you’re showing it, too.

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Learn from TED Live, featuring Bryan Stevenson

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