Shannon Roddel | September 1, 2019
Most would agree that hubris is commonplace in corporate America. (Cue the joke that CEO stands for chief ego officer.) Some studies have concluded that the very narcissism that defines many leaders is detrimental to good leadership.
However, new research from the University of Notre Dame counters the theory that humble leaders are the best leaders, and in fact finds that those who display humility are viewed as less competent, independent and influential.
Much of the previous research on leader humility has focused on its impact on followers, but until now, no work has examined how being humble impacts the leaders themselves. “The consequences of humility for leaders: A double-edged sword” was published in May in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes from lead author Cindy Muir (Zapata), associate professor of management in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and Laura Hayes-Jones from Texas A&M University.
Their research finds that when leaders express humility by owning up to their mistakes or giving their subordinates credit for team successes, people do view them as warm, sensitive, kind leaders. However, their studies find that people simultaneously consider them less competent, independent and influential.
Read more here.