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Welcome to Virtue at Work! I’m Rose Folsom, a convert and Lay Dominican. In 10 years of writing and speaking I’ve helped thousands of Catholics grow in virtues like patience, perseverance, and humility — virtues that give them more peace and confidence at work and at home.

Did someone say Confidence? Many people tell me they experience imposter syndrome, which saps their confidence.

You’ll be happy to know there’s a virtue for that! And I wrote about it in a recent article:

Humility: A Virtue Fix for Imposter Syndrome

Most of us have suffered from imposter syndrome—the fear that we’re not up to the job and if people find out they will laugh at us, and fire us, and then we’ll die.

(Like the first day on the job when I had to ask my staff how to turn the copy machine on.…)

Well, there’s a virtue for that! Here are three ways humility helps ease imposter syndrome:

No. 3: Own Your Deficits

Fearlessly looking at our strengths and weaknesses gives us the clarity to be open about what we’re not so great at doing. For example, I’m a word person, not a number person, and one of my first jobs was as an assistant in a photo studio. This job included adding up the daily checks and cash and making sure that number jibed with the receipt book.

I felt bad that the two hardly ever matched. With more humility, I could have told my managers that because I had never successfully balanced a checkbook, they may want to give that task to someone else.

No. 2: Ask for Help

Years later, as director of a government office, I had an employee in her 30s who was like a petulant teenager. I had run out of ideas and went to my supervisor for guidance. Familiar enough with the benefits of humility by then, I knew that asking my boss for help would come across as a strength, not a weakness, because I was putting the good of the office first and my ego last.

It’s liberating to be straight about our deficits and trust other team members to have our back. There’s no hiding, no fear of being found out. We can then bring more confidence to doing what we’re good at, which encourages the rest of the team to do the same.

No. 1: Work From Your Strengths

If we help build a culture in which it’s OK to admit our weaknesses and to receive training for it or assign it to another team member, the benefits are huge. There’s less shame, more productivity, and more worker engagement—because people can be successful—which leads to greater employee retention.

Humility to the Rescue
Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, once said, “I believe the most important trait of a good leader is humility.”

A man who reported to Monaghan for 10 years explained how this virtue showed up in his boss’s leadership: “For all his accomplishments, Tom is unmistakably humble. In demeanor he is soft spoken and polite. In leading meetings he’s Socratic, asking more questions than giving direction.”

There is power in a billionaire founder walking into a meeting with the attitude that he’ll find his best solutions from people in the room!

Monaghan’s employee went on to say, “He is humble in self-disclosure, often quite spontaneously. I was initially surprised at this. He had a habit of citing a personal shortcoming or failure, sometimes very nonchalantly.”

Tom Monaghan was an incredibly successful entrepreneur. If he didn’t have imposter syndrome, it’s likely at least in part because he was open about his mistakes and deficits, and he relied on his team to come up with great solutions—which allowed him to work from his strengths. By doing so, he set the kind of example that makes for a flourishing office culture.

After all, our humility is rooted in the great glory we enjoy as baptized children of God and in our destiny in heaven.

In relation to that glory, everything else is small stuff.

…Want more from Rose on growing in the leadership virtues?🙋
Check out her membership group, Virtue Circle, where you discover how to practice virtues like patience and humility that make us better people — and great leaders.

AND you’ll have access to her private zoom group every month for coaching, celebrating our successes, and fellowship as we build the foundation of strong leadership: VIRTUE. Click here to learn more!