Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

February 20, 2023

Always be humble.

Humble is a special word to me.  Twenty years ago, when we were working on our leader standards of behavior, we included the sentence “I will be humble” to the document.  We were hearing a lot of “I” statements and selfish behavior regarding how people were doing their job in leadership.  Our perspective from our new Organizational Excellence journey was to lead from behind. (Leading from behind is a leadership model based on the idea that the most effective kind of leadership is one where the person in charge motivates those under them to take charge of decision-making and innovation.)

When someone is looking at their leadership position in a way that benefits them only (wage, power, prestige … ?) and doesn’t reflect on the “why” (the ability to change a situation or a person’s life for the better) … their employees, their organization and ultimately - they themselves - lose. 

To be humble is to understand that I don’t have all or many of the answers.  I am not, never have been, or never will be the GOAT*.  There will always be a better leader (cook, guitar player, bicyclist, whatever else I do fairly well).  I’m not being “Iowa nice”; I’m being realistic, and I will always try to be better, but I know that solutions to a lot of our opportunities/problems don’t and won’t come from me - they will come from others (you).  The best thing I can do is clear the path and be happy and enthusiastic about the solution (wherever and whoever it comes from) and be your cheerleader.  To be humble is to have grace.      

*greatest of all time

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