Extreme Personal Humility and Intense Professional Will
In his best-selling organizational leadership book Good to Great, author and business leadership researcher Jim Collins describes the most highly effective leader as, “an individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will.” This research-based finding flies in the face of conventional wisdom which portrays highly effective leaders as being akin to ego driven military leaders who bark autocratic orders at expendable subordinates.
Rather than an egocentric, arrogant leadership style, Collins points to this rare blend of humility and drive as the formula for highly effective leadership. The blend is the key element. The most effective leaders must possess both humility and drive in equally robust measures. One without equal measure of the other simply does not get the job done.
Such a leadership style is especially important when organizational objectives require collaboration, and the vast majority of organizational objectives will simply not be accomplished to their fullest without collaboration. Team members need a leader who treats them with dignity and respect, but who is also uncompromising on organizational success. Subordinates are not inspired to consistently perform at high levels of excellence by coercion or threats. Rather, they must voluntarily buy into a shared mission that they sincerely believe in which sparks motivation. They must believe in something larger than themselves.
At Weatherford College, we have the privilege of helping people on a daily basis. Collectively, we challenge, motivate, and nurture students as they transform into even better versions of themselves. Through teaching, scholarship, and service, we get to improve the human condition daily. I am extremely honored and privileged to get to play a small role in the collective effort of this noble institution to that end.
Weatherford College coaches are winning and achieving unparalleled levels of success. Professors are helping students succeed academically at levels never before seen. WC fine arts professors and students are winning awards and being recognized at the highest levels. WC entry level leadership and mid-management are collaborating with stakeholders to bring new programs and expanded educational opportunities to our students.
This forward momentum is not only going to continue, it will accelerate! The same discipline that leads to success in the classroom leads to success on the competition surfaces…and in life. If we are to collaboratively lift this noble institution and her students to even higher levels of success, we must be increasingly mindful of the recipe for highly effective leadership in the classroom, on the competition surfaces, and throughout the organization. We must remain mindful of that secret sauce…the blend of extreme personal humility with intense professional will.
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College