“The courage to lead with humility—5 Golden Rules.”

When we share our words and thoughts with others, they create positive or negative emotions when read or when heard.

These emotions range across the spectrum from joyous to rage, inspirational to demotivating, provocative to calming. Oftentimes, the same word draws out varied emotions and can be interpreted differently from one person to the next.

A word that I have appreciated for a very long time but have grown to embrace even more often in my daily life as I have matured as a father, husband, professional, and friend is HUMILITY.

A professed prolific reader on the subject of leadership, paired with my having been associated with some great leaders in all walks of life throughout my career, I recognize and embrace the power and influence that a humble approach can have on creating very positive outcomes.

Humility is not synonymous with being timid or lacking confidence or having issues of inferiority. It is the belief that you and those you surround yourself with, are equal in all regards as people, even if not in talent, ability and attitude. Does someone have to lose every time you win?

A humble leader has courage, promotes transparency and openly displays their desire to serve others rather than expecting others to defer and serve them.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but rather thinking about yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

Exuding this trait allows the views and actions of others to take center stage as appropriate. It shuns the need for notoriety and self-promotion at the expense of others. As leaders, humility pairs with sincerity in defining our approach to working with others. If we sincerely hold their best interests in mind and use a humble approach to help our team realize their desired results, our guidance will be embraced, appreciated, and remembered.

Here are 5 Golden Rules of leading with humility:

First, those who speak less win. Ask pertinent questions and encourage others to speak their mind in depth. Listen with your heart, not just your head. Passionate listening is a key indicator of maturity and effective leadership.

Second, offer yourself up to short but poignant pulse checks on your leadership. Create a questionnaire and a process of complete anonymity for responses. Inquire as to how you are doing as a leader, and how you can improve.

Third, often allow the views and opinions of others be the ones chosen to act upon. In most cases, there are multiple options to approaching most tasks. Hold off on implementing your own when others are just as viable.

Fourth, guide others when it benefits them and/or the operation. But do so backstage. Allow successes to be bestowed on team members as often as possible. Put them in the spotlight to receive recognition. Humble leaders create a lot of influence but seldom cast a long shadow.

Fifth, humility must be learned and practiced before it becomes a way of life. Pass it on to others and reinforce the practice every day. Share the benefit, pay it forward. Leading with humility is one of the greatest investments you will ever make.

Most of all remember, a “spirit of humility” is the balance to your giftedness. You will be remembered most for the way you treat and make people feel long after they have forgotten your talent, ability and accomplishments.