Humility in Business or Bust

I’ll never forget the day that my co-worker had to IM me during a meeting that I was breathing too heavy into my mic. We were, of course, on a Skype for Business meeting, with our whole team and the noise that we were hearing was distracting. It led to me beginning to engage in a premise that I have long believed in: Humility. As an addiction therapist, this was key to my client’s recovery. Those who recognized the state they were in and mindful of it – could overcome it. Those who believed and lived that they:

  1. Had no problem.

  2. Had all the answers to overcome the problem themselves.

  3. Were oblivious.

– It did not go well for them.
We all need something beyond ourselves. I don’t know many great, even visionary executives, that don’t have an amazing support next to them aiding in taking care of business.

To recognize our actual state is humility

Sometimes, or most times, this takes a vantage point that’s not yours, such as my co-worker giving me a tip that it was me who was breathing deeply into the mic and disrupting the meeting. I didn’t know and was clueless, and in addition, I was looking at others as the culprits.
Now this is a trite example, but it speaks to a larger problem: In business we cannot possibly know and do all the moving pieces ourselves.
Your business has a niche, goods or services it provides and hopefully you are an expert in what you do but to think you can be expert in the other and all areas without the guidance of others and using their expertise is prideful and foolish.
In the last week I utilized my payroll company to fix a problem between two state’s payroll taxes. It was a task that I could have done. Well, I could have figured it out. Granted it would have taken me a while and I would have learned a lot to complete the task but at the end of the day, the company I hired was able to completely solve, amend the taxes and move us forward in excellence for $30! $30! In complete competence and expertise my task was resolved for less than I would have ever imagined. I could have done this task; but I don’t know if I would have done it right and it would have taken me at least a day. It would have been foolish for me engage in this knowing that I have a group of people who are specialists in this subject and are available to me.
If we can’t tap into having and practicing humility (having a right understanding of ourselves) than pride is waiting at the door. Pride played out fully creates a self-deception; “a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect and a conceit that implies an exaggerated estimate of one’s own abilities” (
So here are some questions to ask yourself and your business to avoid this nature pitfall in life and in business:

Are there areas in your business that you aren’t an expert in?

Are you trying and attempting to be an expert in everything?

Could some humility help?

I wonder if some of these could be handled by subject matter experts for less than you think and in a better and more advantageous turnaround time.

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