I’m not sure if I am even allowed to say this or not. We don’t really rank which of our core values is the most important. They are all very important to us, but I think that I’m pretty safe in saying “be humble” might be the very most important. We have 11 total core values, but this one in particular kind of sums up everything else and really helps to put it all into perspective.
Being humble is one of the only ways to truly learn, grow, and develop throughout your life. If you lack humility, then you will always be stuck in your ways, and it can be very difficult to ever change. If you want to improve, if you want to succeed, then it is necessary to change. If you want to change, then it is necessary to be humble. See what I mean about humility tying all of the other care values together and being the true most important one?
Pretty much everything else good in the world stems from humility. It is not an easy value to perfect. In fact it can be quite challenging, but it will be the key to your happiness and continued success.
This is why we place so much emphasis on this core value. For us, this value begins in the hiring process. it is so important to us, and it is almost impossible to teach.
We strive to only hire humble and reachable team members. They are the best team players, and they take the best care of our clients, because they are always willing to learn and to accept that something they did might have been wrong. We try to be the best of the best, but we know that we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes, and we always try to own those mistakes. This keeps us humble, but it also provides some of the best learning and teaching moments that we could ever ask for. In turn, this helps us constantly improve, so that we can be better and better for our clients and our fellow team members.
Humility Exhibit A: Our CEO
One of the greatest examples of humility that I have ever seen is our very own CEO.
In the position that he is in and with the things that he has accomplished and the companies he has helped build, this man has all the reason to be prideful; however, I have never seen anything but humility from this incredible leader and mentor.
Let me share a quick little story about this man, so that you get an idea of what this value looks like in a business setting.
Derek Miner joined our company as CEO in March of 2020. With the pandemic about to hit and wreak havoc on the world, it was a great time to join up. Regardless, this isn’t a story about how he helped the company to not only survive the pandemic but to thrive during it. That’s a story for another time.
This story is a lot simpler and was just a small act of humility that really shined a light on this core value and showed that we made an excellent choice in who would lead our company.
His first week on the job, Derek was writing up an email to one of our current clients. It was a pretty simple email. A standard, run-of-the-mill type email that he had probably sent thousands of times.
He wrote it all up, looked things over, felt satisfied with it, and sent it off to our client.
Well, a little bit later, he gets a call from our company president, John Rowa, saying “Yo, Derek. Tell me about this email . . .”
Knowing Derek, the email was probably pretty great. Probably a thousand times better than what I would have written. Even still, John felt that the tone or the wording wasn’t quite “Lemonade Stand-y” enough. Our culture is all about learning and growing and watching out for each other. So, with that in mind, John felt the need to call up Derek and offer a few pointers for future emails.
Now, this definitely could have been taken the wrong way for a number of reasons; however, based on the culture that has been built, we all know that everyone has our best interest and our clients’ best interests at heart. Nobody corrects another person here unless it is out of a genuine need and with a genuine desire to help that person to grow. We don’t nitpick each other or critique for the sake of putting others down. However, the issue at hand seems pretty small. It was just an email – AND that email was written by the CEO of the company. Not usually the person (or position) that you want to be criticizing, right?
Well, Derek’s response to those pointers is what makes him such an incredible leader to our team. He lives and breathes our core values. He responded with humility and with an open mind ready to learn and to be molded to the Lemonade Stand ways. He did not ever throw his title around or respond with a “who do you think you’re talking to? Don’t think I can write up and send off an email on my own?” No, not Derek. His response was more along the lines of “Wow! I can’t believe that I didn’t notice those things before sending it off. Thank you so much for helping me to learn. I will take all of this to heart and will implement this in the next email that I draft up. Thank you, John. You rule!”
This simple example, this tiny moment of humility, is what we all try to emulate. You must rid yourself of pride and stop thinking that you’re always right. This is the only way to truly learn.
Humility is the key.
How Can You Live This Core Value?
Humility can be a really tough one to learn how to live.
If you feel that you are not humble enough and would like to develop more humility – well, that’s probably a pretty good sign of humility already, so you’re on the right track. I might also suggest that you give the book Ego is the Enemy a quick read. It’s an awesome book about how to get past your own ego (pride) and focus on the things that matter most (humility, other people, etc.). It’s a great read and offers some really good pointers if you do want to lessen your pride and boost your humility.
Overall, though, I would say that you need to stop thinking you are always right and let the light shine on other people more than yourself.
By stopping thinking you are always right, I mean that you really need to accept that you’re not always right. Let other people correct you. Take their words as a teaching moment. Don’t start a conversation by defending everything that you did. You might not always be wrong either, and it’s ok to know when you did something right – but you HAVE to be able to accept when you did something wrong. Let other people teach you. Don’t ever think that you are above someone else teaching you. It does not matter how older that person is, how much experience they have, what their education level is, etc. You can be taught something by every single person that you come into contact with. Start focusing on what other people can teach you. Learn from them and take those things and put them into practice.
The other pointer I mentioned was to let the light shine on other people. People love to be recognized. We all do hard work, and it feels really, really good when someone brings up how hard you have been working or how awesome that thing you were working on turned out. Whatever the case may be, it feels great when someone mentions how incredible you are. There’s nothing wrong with that; however, when someone recognizes you for the work that you’ve done, you should always be very quick to recognize all of the other people that helped you to make that happen. Most of the time we aren’t a one-person show. We always have help from other people, and it’s incredibly important (for humility’s sake at least) to be able to recognize that you aren’t doing everything on your own and to let other people know that you know that. Shine the light on other people as often as you possibly can.
This really goes a long way.
Humility Exhibit B: Ben Rector
As an example of this, my wife and I recently went to a concert for one of our favorite musicians, Ben Rector. The concert was awesome! They put on an incredible show and had everyone’s undivided attention.
The coolest part though?
We all went to see Ben Rector. He was the name on the ticket, and he’s the one that we wanted to hear sing and play. Throughout the entire concert, however, he continually moved the spotlight off of himself and let the rest of his team (singers, guitarists, percussionists, even a saxophonist) have their time to shine. He highlighted how amazing each of them were and how the show wouldn’t be anywhere near as cool as it was without this wonderful team to back him up and help to create this. I hadn’t ever seen an artist so humble and so willing to share the spotlight. I was astounded.
I went from being a fan of Ben Rector’s music to being a fan of Ben Rector the person, and I will be for the rest of my life. Every time that he comes into town, he can know that we will be buying tickets to his show.
That kind of loyalty comes from the fact that he is so humble and gracious. He doesn’t see his talent and incredible voice as something that makes him better than everyone else. He sees it as a gift from God that is meant to be shared with other people.
It was amazing to see this show of humility.
So, don’t always take the spotlight for yourself. Shine it on others who have helped you do what you’ve been able to do.
This core value will change your life!
I really hope that you implement this one and are able to see the impact that it has. And remember, for any of your digital marketing needs, send a quick note to our humble little team. We’d love to be able to serve you!