In 100 Words: Humility, Life and Leadership


In that leadership workshop, the trainer and the participants were discussing about the importance of humility in life and leadership. Some people defined humility as ‘modesty’ while others said it was about ‘seeing the self as a means to an end and not an end in itself.’

After listening carefully, the trainer said, “Humility is like the banks of a river that gives direction to the flowing water without possessing it.

“In life and leadership, we are only great to an extent we empower others without having any pride in possessing them. It’s about standing with people, not above them.”

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Also Read: Other 100 Word Parables

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A Note of Gratitude: to our friend Kurt Harden (at Cultural Offering) for including QAspire Blog in his annual list “25 Blogs Guaranteed to Make Your Smarter

Management, Leadership and Motherhood

The lessons I learnt in the Management Development Programme (MDP) way back in Apr 2008 keeps clogging my mind space – and something new comes out as an insight.

One of the topics Mr. Pillai touched upon was motherhood and management. Let me explain.

I have always seen my mother give me plenty – she would always offer me more than I can eat. She would take care of smallest of my needs. She withstood my tantrums, cleaned my diapers, taught me to be on my feet, raised me, nurtured me, pushed me to do better and helped me. She managed to do this without any complain ever. And now she does all of this all over again for my daughter with same love – and all this with no expectations whatsoever. And this is true for every mother in the world. When I ruminate on how my mother raised me, it just helps me become a better manager. Mr. Pillai helped us realize and relate motherhood with the way we work and operate in professional lives.

My learning from the MDP is that motherhood is not about gender – not about whether you can have babies! 🙂 Motherhood is beyond gender – it is a state of mind. It is a way of thinking. The very nature of mother to give in plenty, pour themselves into their work (of raising kids) and nurture without any expectations is motherhood.In a way, Managers and Leaders have to be like mothers. They play this very important role in professional lives of their people. They need to nurture professional dreams of their people, help them when they are stuck, motivate them, support them when they are down, pat their back on their small successes, bring them back on track when they digress and ensure their professional well-being. And all this has to be done with no expectations. All this has to be done for each and every team member over and over again.

Mothers are never selfish – they think “We” and not “I and my team”. Same is true for managers and leaders.

I strongly believe that when managers and leaders embrace these core properties of motherhood and operate accordingly, workplaces will become much better.

Do you agree?

Related Post: Like Manager, Like Mother at KindExcellence Blog