Remember the Importance of Humility

The screening stage of the interview process is an interesting one. Everyone has their recipe for finding the right candidate. Some questions are common and sometimes there is a zinger thrown in.

The question I have found to be most common is focused on culture. What is important to you in an organization? In your boss? Up until this point, I had a hard time describing in a succinct way what is important to me. I used scenarios to attempt to describe my great bosses and the organizations with exceptional culture — and other scenarios to describe bosses and organizations that failed to live up to the hype.

Last year I read this blog post from HBR, “How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen” and realized it all comes down to humility. In this article, the class defined humility as people who have a high level of self esteem. They know who they are and they feel good about who they are. The class also decided that humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes, but by the esteem with which they regard others.

I realized all the scenarios I described came down to super-smart, humble people, looking to surround themselves with other super-smart, humble people. Because they feel good about who they are, they are receptive to new ideas, not threatened. They communicate: actually hear what is being said, internalize it, and challenge the perspective appropriately. They look to grow those around them and don’t fear if someone becomes smarter than them in some way – in fact they take pride in this accomplishment (they hold the people around them in high esteem).

Do you know any great brands out there made up of super-smart, humble people looking for other super-smart humble people to work for them?

This humble marketing leader is looking to make an impact and would love to join them.

Teresa Caro
About the author: 

Teresa Caro is a Senior Vice President at Fortiva, an Atlanticus retail credit company with more than $25 billion in funded loans.  Prior to Atlanticus/Fortiva, her career includes senior executive positions with Shoutlet, Engage and rDialogue.  Ms. Caro earned her undergraduate degree from Villanova University and an MBA from Georgia State University.  Follow her on Twitter.