The Power of Perspective and Humility in Leadership

The Power of Perspective and Humility in Leadership
Kharis Publishing announces the release of “The Stepping Stones Of Spiritual Maturity” by Angela Guy, The Transformation of A Wayward Heart

As the workforce declines, discussions turn to the topics of employee retention and getting the most out of our current employees. Even companies with historically long-tenured employees find themselves seeking ways to recruit and retain quality talent as they never have before.  My experience managing groups – through hardship and change – has taught me that while a majority of employees positively impact the organization, many employees are skeptical that leadership understands their value. They feel unseen, unheard, and unappreciated.  There is a disconnect between perception and reality. For employees, the implementation of change shows either failure on the part of the employee or on the part of leadership because they make another bad decision.  Morale suffers.  Turnover results. Leadership is driven back to discussing concepts and implementing plans targeting employee engagement and motivation, mentorship programs, and generational drives and differences.

Numerous articles outline and suggest ways to engage, motivate, and retain employees. While I do not disagree with the list of actions such articles encourage, I believe there are two core characteristics underlying actions necessary to effectively lead and retain people: perspective and humility.  Are we too busy focusing on setting up initiatives that we miss the two simple things that make all the difference?

Words matter. Tone matters. Your approach matters. Feeling seen and heard matters. Inherent within us is a desire for belonging and worth, a need to work toward a common goal, and a longing to be acknowledged and recognized for our individual contributions. We can institute a plethora of initiatives catering to employees, but until leadership learns to inwardly assess its ability to show humility and to hear and understand an employee’s perspective, we will never be successful in any of those initiatives.  How we communicate with, respond to, and approach employees make a huge difference, more so than the structure of the initiative. We need to believe, “It starts with me, not with the initiative.”

Perspective is understanding how someone thinks and feels. Each person is unique, so considering how you would think and feel in the same situation falls short. It is not feeling the same way they do, nor imagining how they feel; perspective gives us an understanding of where someone is coming from. 

Humility is caring for others and acting in their best interest and the interest of the organization over your own interests. It is not yielding the right thing to do in order to pacify the emotions of others.  Humility seeks to make the right decision and then goes further to respectfully explain why certain decisions had to be made, especially to those negatively impacted by the decision. It is valuing the input contributed by those who perform the work and acknowledging their value to them and to others with words and by actions.

Perspective without humility solidifies the thought in the minds of employees that leadership does not care about them. It speaks to the level of respect a leader has for their employees. The creation of various initiatives before leadership takes are hard look at what is driving them in their decision making can inadvertently promote the very message they are trying to combat. Humility without perspective solidifies the thought that it does not matter if I speak up because leadership is out of touch with the reality of what goes on within the company. It affects the level of respect that employees have for their leadership. 

Asking employees to share their thoughts before decisions are made is a great way to communicate and to begin discerning perspective. Follow up with “Help me understand…” questions. Engaging employees early in the decision-making process to hear their ideas and their challenges is a great way to allow their perspectives to impact the culture of the company and increase value. 

Another fantastic proactive tool is the 5 Voices Assessment by GiANT( This assessment allows leaders and employees alike to discover their predominant perspective in processing information and decision making.  The assessment reveals the benefits of each voice to an organization, how to get the best out of them, and the weapons we use when in high stress situations that sabotage the good of the organization. Communication by asking employees to share their thoughts and really listening to what they have to say is also a great way to exercise humility. Follow up with them afterwards to share the decisions leadership made but be sure to share how their concerns were heard and taken into consideration as the decision was made. When sharing, avoid using demeaning phrases like, “What you need to understand is…” or, “Take one for the team.” Remember to be patient.  Employees need to consistently see that you mean what you say. Trust needs to be rebuilt for employees to speak up, especially in environments where trust has been broken.

About Stepping Stones of Spiritual Maturity

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The Stepping Stones of Spiritual Maturity explores our transformation when we bring our true selves before our Creator and the freedom resulting from choosing God’s way. Interwoven with her own transformation story, author Angela Guy looks at how the Sermon on the Mount relates to and deepens the Beatitudes by describing them both as a cross-shaped path toward God’s heart, and stepping stones to cross before we can continue along the path. Guy also explores the difference between who we are, compared to a righteous God in whom we learn to abide, and shows how our identity and worth are found in Jesus alone.

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About Kharis Publishing

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