The “Big 4”

On February 21, I posted a blog entitled “The Big 3,” which listed the top three traits of great leaders. Shortly thereafter, I realized I had missed an important ingredient. In my March 29 newsletter, I referenced an article entitled “Three Profiles in Organizational Humility,” by Patrick Lencioni. This was the same newsletter in which I included comments about Brady Hoke and Tom Izzo. That got me thinking, and I am officially adding humility to the list of the top traits all great leaders possess. In fact, one of my colleagues suggested it might even be the foundation for the other three. But whether it is the underpinning of the original three traits I listed or whether it is the first of four traits is not important. What is important is that every great leader I have personally known for an extended time (i.e., decades) checks their ego at the door. Jim Collins, the business expert and author, says Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. And that most definitely requires a sense of humility.