Blessed are the humble.

Really?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Humility?  Look around.  Any humble brands out there?  Any humble organizations?  Politicians?  Humility has gotten short shrift in popular culture.  And looking around you’d think it in short supply.

You’d be right.

humility_1But it is a value that I’d argue is at the heart of friendship and brand relationship.  It is the connective tissue that allows a brand or an individual to bond with an individual or idea.

Nearly eighteen months ago a good friend and expert in crisis communications, Fred Garcia, wrote this back in September 2008:

… a dollop of humility tempers other attributes, and makes a leader even stronger. Humility helps a leader to recognize that maybe – just maybe – he or she might be wrong; that there may be other valid perspectives; that he or she doesn’t have to be the smartest person in every room, at every meeting.  Humility also helps leaders to connect with others up, down, and across the chain of command; to build organizations and cultures that more likely thrive; to understand the perspectives of other stakeholders.

I thought about Fred’s post when listening to a recent podcast on the same subject.  The title of the podcast was “Winsome Humility.”  A warning to those who may want to listen.  It has a religious bent.  But that bent shouldn’t distract from the wisdom that Dr. John Dixson gives about this simple concept that is at the heart of every strong character.

Dixson’s definition of humility is simple: Humility is the noble ability to hold your power for the good of others.

He goes on to argue that humility makes very a lot of sense.  It is practical.  One person can’t know everything.  It is attractive.  It is part of being kind.  It is effective.  It allows you — as Fred pointed out — to develop strong relationships.

I find it ironic that in the new media world we see so many people (and brands) succumb to baser instincts and use the new media channels to bark, preen, preach, and lecture.

When the real opportunity is in using these new channels to do something much more attractive.

Be humble.