Friday’s Change Reflection Quote - Leadership of Change - Lead Change With Humility, Not Hubris


Happy Friday!

On this day, April 14, RMS Titanic, the world’s largest ocean liner, hit an iceberg at 11.40 p.m. off Newfoundland, sinking in the early hours of 15 April, claiming an estimated 1,517 lives. The exact number of people killed is unknown, as the original passenger and crew lists were rendered inaccurate because of factors such as misspellings, omissions, etc. In the end, 706 people survived the sinking of the Titanic . The ship was on its maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City, USA, on 10 April 1912 with over 2,200 passengers and crew on board. As with many major disasters, there are always numerous contributing factors. The primary reason for the loss of life aboard the Titanic was the lack of lifeboats. There were only sixteen lifeboats with a capacity to carry 1,178 passengers, and even those that were used were not filled or crewed.

Philip Franklin, Vice-President of White Star Line, owners of Titanic, told the press. “We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe that the boat is unsinkable.” The designers must have believed the same as they did not have enough lifeboats to cater for the total number of passengers and crew aboard. However, it was the Titanic’s captain, Edward Smith, who was also of the same mindset. He gambled against the odds and made fatal mistakes. The captain decided to sail at nearly full speed through an ice field, to serve the interests of the owners by sticking to schedule. He also cancelled a lifeboat drill the day before. His hubris had unintended consequences for the people he was leading. This sometimes also happens in organisation change implementation when what we really need is humility. Lead Change With Humility, Not Hubris.

Lead change with humility, not hubris. As leaders of our organisation, we should never acquire the hubris syndrome and think that we are more important than the organisation’s strategic change programme

Humility is the quality of recognising that you do not have all the solutions, you are not perfect. Socrates argued that humility is the greatest of all virtues. Humble change leaders focus on employee change adoption and getting them to perform at the new way of working. They will quickly share the credit for change success and just as quickly admit to their own shortcomings. They show they can be vulnerable and will be open to listening to the employees for their ideas on how the change can be improved. Humble change leaders also build higher rates of employee engagement, face less resistance, and get better employee change adoption rates. Change leaders who exhibit humility are more relatable, approachable, and thus make great role models during change.

Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.

Further Reading: Change Management Leadership: Leadership of Change Volume 4

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®. He advises CEOs on how to prepare and align their corporate leadership teams to successfully lead their organisation's change.

For further reading please visit our websites: Peter F Gallagher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge Volumes: Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Books: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, & C available on both Amazon and Google Play:

Leadership of Change® Volume 1 - Change Management Fables

Leadership of Change® Volume 2 - Change Management Pocket Guide

Leadership of Change® Volume 3 - Change Management Handbook

Leadership of Change® Volume 4 - Change Management Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume 5 - Change Management Adoption

Leadership of Change® Volume 6 - Change Management Behaviour

Leadership of Change® Volume 7 - Change Management Sponsorship

Leadership of Change® Volume A - Change Management Gamification - Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume B - Change Management Gamification - Adoption

Coming soon:

Leadership of Change® Volume C - Change Management Gamification - Behaviour

~ Leadership of Change® Volume D - Change Management Gamification - Sponsorship

~ Leadership of Change® Volume E - Change Management Gamification - Leadership Teams

By Peter F Gallagher

Keywords: Business Strategy, Change Management, Leadership

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