What if I tell you there is one, fundamental, applicable to any situation personality trait that makes a good PM great? What is it? Some secret knowledge? MBA-level revelation? No, not at all. The secret is humility. Yeap, as simple as that. Humility allows leaders to keep on growing, learning new skills and selecting best ideas.
Not only PMs can use this "secret knowledge" to succeed, but any modern professional, especially with leadership responsibilities will also benefit knowing about the importance of humility. The five years study's results published in Harward Business Review showing how humility can make a good CEO into a great one, elevating their business to the top.
What can we be humble about?Well, first of all, our own abilities. Knowing what we don't know is a "magic shield" against all sort of fuckups. Accepting and remembering about limits of our understanding we can make wiser decisions.
Then there is being humble about sources of success. It seems all great leaders attribute success to their peers and a bit to good luck. While at the same time, most if not all, failures they take on the chin.
Lastly, there is a humility about the future. Great leaders understand that our attempts to predict or control future is doomed to failure. Hence instead of wasting our energy in predicting or attempting control we better get ourselves prepared to different outcomes, even the most fantastic.
Humility does not imply passivityAnother major trait from the CEO study - best leaders are strongwilled and determined. They have a vision for their businesses. This vision is clear, ambitious and guiding for the entire organisation. Humility comes in on the way to the vision. Mistakes will be made, failure is unavoidable but that only matter as long as we learn and correct our path.
So much been said about the "imposter syndrome". Some say it's bad, others - disagree. I am one of the others. I think if one never feels like an imposter - he's either never challenges himself or being delusional. Even for one's strongest skills - it's very useful to apply humility and keep developing. For a while, I believed I am strong at conducting customer's interviews. I've done hundreds of those and felt confident doing another one, a "fake" one, during a job interview. To my surprise and disappointment - I screwed it up. I forgot about the very basics. It was super embarrassing, but I am grateful for this experience. It was such a great reminder about staying humble.