An Essence Of Great Leaders

When I study great leaders of the world, they have one common denominator – a spirit of humility.

This finding is validated by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, From Good to Great. He found that leaders of visionary companies or what he termed as “Level 5 leaders” have the traits of humility and fierce resolve.

This principle may be intuitively hard to accept in a commercialised world where leaders seek every opportunity to promote themselves. They jostle and jockey for a moment of fame and to be in the limelight.

When the transient nature of fame blows away and the lights go off, they may just wonder why they do not have a positive relationship with others. They have not made a meaningful impact on them.

Humility is a way to break the barrier to the heart. It’s the virtue that can help you win hearts and minds and lead them to fulfill a purposeful calling.

The root word of humility is derived from the Latin word “humus” which means “ground” and “humilis” which means “lowly.”

Humility does not mean that others are better than you or you are better than them. It’s about freedom from unhealthy comparison with anybody.

In essence, humility is grounded in truth, love and wisdom. It does not operate
in an artificially-elevated position of of self-pride, over-confidence, and arrogance.

Humility does not function from a self-centred and self-serving position.

Instead, it seeks to be in a base position of putting others before yourself, and making others feel more important than yourself.

It’s a state of being detached from the ego and having the willingness to serve others.

Humility is not a weakness but a strength.

It takes strength to recognize that others can be better than you. There is more to be known than what has been known and to be open to learn from others and embrace new ideas, knowledge, and expertise.

It takes courage to believe that you can be wrong and to solicit for feedback and correction.

As a leader, you should learn how to overcome fear and take courage to relinquish power to a better person to lead a team. And if need be, to take on the role of a follower and be one of the team players.

Humility is not timidity but confidence. It takes a sense of security to accept weakness and to approach others others for counsel, advice and solution.

It takes confidence to create opportunities for others to play their parts, improve, and make their contributions.

It takes confidence to offer credit and recognition to others for an achievement even if you have contributed to it.

Humility is the first lesson before any other lesson. It ensures that you’re are not so full of yourself that you have no room for deeper insights, wisdom and achievement.

In fact, humility is a necessary ingredient to develop other virtues. The stronger the virtue, the more the essence of humility is needed to make the virtue more impactful and sustainable.

Humility acts as a protection against evil. Evil can never influence people who are at peace with themselves and have a heart of service.

Humility prevents you from falling down the slippery slope of self-pride and vain glory.

With a sense of humility, leaders can go farther and faster with their teams to serve a worthwhile cause.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Let’s connect on
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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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