The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility by Marilyn Gist, PhD

My first response is “Another book on leadership?” But I figured if someone wrote yet one more book, there must be something new to add to the stockpiles of information about growing strong leaders. And then I opened the fundamental red cover to see some significant and powerful names on the first pages.

Strong support for this book is a definite plus, and enough to encourage me to keep reading.

By page five, I’d read that most leaders are missing the mark, and I wanted to know what the mark was. So, I kept reading.


There’s a significant tie between successful leaders and leaders who have visions that result in power. These arise from the relationships built between stakeholders and leaders. Are they compliant? Do they support the leadership? Is there a better way?

I took that to mean: Is the leader in the spotlight and who’s in that spotlight with him? Significant detail of exceptional leadership right there, when you, as a leader, can communicate with those around you and bring forth a team. The dynamic has to do with communication, and those who communicate best are servant leaders. This book confirms that detail.

Mulally indicates that humility comes in an “everyone is included” concept. Gist quotes him frequently throughout the book, and his guest chapter reiterates these concepts.

Mulally, a former CEO of Ford Motor Company and Boeing Commercial Airplanes, comes with his own level of expertise and knowhow. A brilliant mind in the process of development, leadership, and people management, his expertise is cultural development. This dynamic allows Mulally to deeply impact the world around us by initiating the application of these cultural norms.

The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.”

 – Jackie Robinson –

 Without exception, the one thing every human being has is their sense of personal dignity. This one thing will denote the intrinsic value of every other thing a person communicates. A leader with a strong sense of self, knows the value of the power within. The best leaders fortify this internal power with the strength and collective power of those around them. They bring the best people to the table. In many cases, they bring people to the table who disagree with them, to allow for an environment of healthy internal growth.


Substantive components of leadership are formulated through the many aspects of these interactive examples. The power behind the leader is his internal knowledge and understanding of self.

The humility of that knowledge and recognition of their personal value implicate greater strengths, such as who will follow.

I was particularly impressed by the actualization Gist put forth that not all leaders need to be recognized for their efforts. Many are just as comfortable recognizing others and creating an external reputation that feeds the masses. In fact, some bring their counterparts into the limelight with them, and share the “glory” by accentuating the leaders in their team, or tribes.

I was reminded numerous times in the book of someone who currently is a strong leader but is rarely recognized for his leadership. Instead, he generously recognizes others to create an environment of success around his message. Profound! I recommend this book.

John Davis, Posted by Clay Burton