Humility – A Case Study

Sara, a team leader in the marketing department at a large manufacturing plant, came up with a brilliant marketing strategy for a new product. After she presented it to her boss Greg, he immediately walked over to the CEO’s office and presented the plan as his, (with some reference to the input from his team). The CEO was delighted and heaped kudos on Greg at the next management team meeting. Sara shook her head, sighed, then sat back and let him take the credit. She felt resentment towards Greg for having stolen her ideas and leaving her input unacknowledged. She was also angry with herself for remaining silent. On the other hand, she felt superior to Greg and proud that she would not stoop so low as to steal ideas and then boast about it.

Questions to Consider

Was Sara being humble?

And why does it even matter when the end result was success for the team?

What positive role could humility play in a workplace that thrives on competition, individual performance, and getting ahead at the expense of the opposition?

I would love to hear your views. Many thanks.


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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