Another quality of the visionary, along with presence, truth telling, discernment, wisdom, etc., is a combination of empathy and humility that I call humanility. Being humble is to be free from false pride and arrogance. It does not mean lacking confidence or being falsely self-deprecating, for it rests on a clear sense of the truth of what we don’t know and how much we still have to learn while owning the knowledge and the knowing that we do have, and respecting our earned wisdom.
In a visionary, humility is paired with compassion and empathy, an understanding of how we are all interconnected in the flow of life, nature, the universe, much as I described in Friday’s post. The resulting humanility enables us to see what the world needs while being acutely aware of how our unique talents, knowledge, and knowing can meet those needs, as well as what we still need to learn.
Humanility is key in a visionary leader, particularly. As Jim Collins found in his research of companies who have managed sustainable success, “The most powerfully transformative executives possess a paradoxical mixture of personal humility and professional will.” Making a difference in this world requires collaboration, leaders with vision who can help the people they lead and serve to bring out their visionary voices as they together move toward meaningful, sustainable success—as individuals, as a team, and as a planet.
But this attribute is essential for all of us, not just those at the helm, for ultimately we are all leaders of ourselves, and we are all part of various teams and networks of people, at work, in our families, in our communities, both online and in person. Even the solopreneur with no employees does not live and work in isolation. Humanility can help us get in touch on a deeper level with everyone we are connected with, from our colleagues and clients to our family and friends, and these deeper connections are the path to reinventing our world together.
Image credit: Photograph by .shock.