Pride vs. Humility

We have been doing some pretty awesome things at work over the past few months. We did it with fast pace and great determination, with sweat and dedication.

Together we, the cross functional team, have reached several big milestones. We celebrated and high-five’d each other. We had joy; we had laughs.

Future started to look very bright even though we are in the middle of the winter and the temperature outside is still pretty scary low.

We know the team is winning some battles, but what we don’t know is that the business world is a protracted war. It’s brutal and it requires each one of us to stay alert and alarmed all the time. The war is not ending just because we killed three enemies in the past two months.

This week, things started to go downhill pretty fast due to one oversight at our end. The team huddled in the meeting room and had long discussions around the strategies, options, implications and came up with all kinds of remediation plans. The upside is because we are a great team, this turbulence had us bonded much closer. We held each other’s hands and padded each other’s back. When the battlefield is full of blood and gunshots, we need the support from our pals even more in order to continue being engaged and inspired to win.

We hold our heads high during the tough time this week. However, we are humans, we have emotions including sadness and frustration.

Today, on a supposed-to-be-happy Friday, I came home somewhat defeated and concerned. The husband of mine patiently listened to my complaints and handed over a straight Martini. Slowly, he said:” honey, we all need a shot of humility to keep us grounded.” That shot completely woke me up at that moment.

Humility is best learned when pride is at peak. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn how to win.

I will use a quote from one of my favourite HBR article Six Principles for Developing Humility as a Leader to end this blog post: “You may be brilliant, ambitious, and audacious. But the world is filled with other hard-working, high-IQ, and creative professionals. Don’t kid yourself that they and their innovations aren’t a serious threat.” So, never underestimate your enemy and the competition.

Be humble.

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