Humble leaders could be the most profitable: here's why

A new study of 63 CEOs of Chinese private companies and 1,000 of their top- and mid-level managers is one of the first to show a humble leadership style could have a positive impact on productivity, relationships and profitability, according to a report from Forbes.

The study, published in Administrative Sciences Quarterly, compared CEO self-assessments of humbleness to their managers' assessment of their productivity, quality of life and ability to communicate and effect change at work. CEOs with higher self-assessed humbleness tended to have managers who were more satisfied and effective in their work.

Researchers theorized that humble CEOs had more self-awareness, were more open to feedback and were better able to prioritize their employees' welfare than those who exhibited more individualistic tendencies. Lead researcher Angelo Kinicki suggested the effect of a humble leadership style on top- and mid-level management's productivity most likely affects financial performance, though to what extent is still unknown, according to the report.

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