Lead With Humility

Servanthood Demands Humility


Leaders need people to lead. Good leaders strive to serve those from whom they are responsible. But with any position of authority, pride can sneak in. In this video, Bill Pollard, retired CEO of ServiceMaster, shares a story from his own life where his pride got the best of him. In order to lead well, Bill says, humility is key. 



In a transparent description of his own experience, Bill talks about the “disease of hubris.” When we gain more and more leadership, and add to the list of our accomplishments, it’s easy to believe that we deserve the best. Pride shoves humility into the file cabinet. Instead, Bill argues that we must cultivate an attitude of constant humility toward the people we serve. 

In his story about the leadership conference in Japan, Bill said his pride made him angry. He expected a grand welcome and packed house. In what ways could pride shape your expectations of the people you lead?
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If Bill insisted on giving in to his pride, his people and his business would suffer. What are the risks to your people or business of giving in to pride?
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Bill admits that maintaining humility is difficult. He needed a friend to call him out on his pride. Who can you rely on for accountability in maintaining a humble attitude toward those you lead? If you don’t have someone, who could you ask?
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Humility is hard. But it’s key to serving others well. If we allow ourselves to get carried away with our success and reputation, we can lose focus on what really matters—the people who make the business run. Maintaining a humble attitude is the core tenet of servant leadership. 


For more insights and teaching from Bill Pollard, check out the full course The How-Tos of Servant Leadership


This post was made in cooperation with the Soderquist Leadership. For more great content, visit their website here.