The Power of Humility in Leadership : Influencing as a Role Model book cover
1st Edition

The Power of Humility in Leadership
Influencing as a Role Model

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032414195
February 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Productivity Press
312 Pages 80 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

To many people, the words ‘leader’ and ‘humble’ are not natural bedfellows. Yet once they have grasped the definition most employees desire a humble leader, while a majority of managers believe they already are one. What appears deceptively simple is trickier than expected. Narcissism, lack of perception, fixed mindsets, neuronal default settings are only a few of the stumbling blocks on the path to humility. What exactly is this sought-after humility? Humility consists of four key elements: 1) Seeing one’s own strength and weaknesses and revealing them where needed for the bigger picture; 2) Appreciating others for what they are, do now and can do; 3) Being open and willing to learn; 4) Understanding that we are all only a small part of a larger picture, easily replaceable and favored by luck and circumstance. Therefore, humility has nothing to do with being weak or hiding the light under the bushel. Instead, it is about clarity, taking a step back from one’s ego and thus being able to serve the greater picture. The author’s own research with more than 2,000 managers contributes to the canon of positive effects of humility that have been measured by dozens of researchers during the last decade. Humility benefits employees (ranging from better performance, more innovation, stronger resilience to better client relations and stronger morals), the organization (ranging from better ambidextrous strategies, a better culture to fewer sunk costs) and the managers themselves (ranging from more seen leadership potential to less stress and better relationships with employees). Dozens of case studies, quotes from more than 150 interviews with top managers, lively storytelling of real-life examples, solid research with actionable take-aways plus personal assessments make this an eminently readable and practical book for managers worldwide.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The image of humility today

Chapter 2: Defining and measuring humility for everyday business

Chapter 3: The status of humility in companies in our day and age

Chapter 4: The benefits of humility

Chapter 5: Willingness to recognize own strengths and weaknesses (and to show them where it makes sense)

Chapter 6: Appreciating others

Chapter 7: Ability to learn or openness to new ideas and feedback

Chapter 8: See the bigger picture

Chapter 9: Different nationalities, ages and the topic of gender revisited

Chapter 10: The limits and disadvantages of humility

Chapter 11: Humility in politics

Chapter 12: Examples of humility as an inspiration

Chapter 13: How to implement humility in your company and a glance into the future

Appendix A: FAQs

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Dr. Franziska Frank works as visiting lecturer at Germany’s number 1 business school ESMT Berlin. She has been teaching executives worldwide for more than 15 years on all elements of influencing, in particular, on how humility influences others indirectly via acting as a role model. Franziska was educated at an UK boarding school, read history at Cambridge (BA and MA) and has a top-class law degree plus PhD from Munich University. After working as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group for six years she joined ESMT Berlin. In 2016 she turned free-lance to have more time to write books, while continuing to support companies in their quest to develop effective leaders for our day and age. She published the German version of her book on humility with Springer Gabler in 2021 which has been downloaded more than 16,000 times. A new and extended edition is coming out in 2022. An article by her has appeared in the January edition of the German Harvard Business Review She has also been quoted in different German newspapers. She is connected to more than 3.000 managers worldwide on LinkedIn and engages in active discussions with them about humility.