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If you want to be an effective boss and make a positive impression on your employees, being humble may just be the way to go.
A new study has found humble chief executive officers (CEOs) do a far better job of empowering their workers than arrogant leaders.
Conducted by researchers from Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, National University of Singapore, George Washington University and the Renmin University of China, the study polled CEOs of 63 private companies in China. It also created and administered surveys measuring humility and its effects on about 1,000 top and middle-level managers who work with those CEOs.
“Humble CEOs are more open to making joint decisions and empowering others,” Angelo Kinicki, professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business, said.
“Their behaviour positively affects both top and middle managers, who then exhibit higher commitment, work engagement, job satisfaction and job performance. We see a trickle-down effect that seems to influence the company overall.”
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According to the report, humble leaders are more willing to seek feedback about themselves, are more empathetic and appreciative of others’ strengths and weaknesses, and are more focused on the greater good and others’ welfare than on themselves.
It also highlighted that since leadership behaviour normally cascades downward, humility at the top level will benefit and affect all levels of organisations.
“It’s time we understood that humility isn’t a sign of weakness or lacking confidence, but rather, a good thing that can benefit us all,” Kinicki said.