I just finished reading “Humility is the NEW SMART, Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age (SMA). We are now on the leading edge of the Smart Machine Age (SMA) and from what the authors forecast, a technology Tsunami. Smart Machines are able to tackle non-routine cognitive tasks previously thought to be the exclusive operation of people. These Smart Machines are gaining natural language capabilities, voice and facial recognition and the ability to draft sports columns, medical diagnosis, due diligence documents in areas such as legal and accounting and the list goes on!
So now I can’t even depend on my favorite Sports Writers to give me their frank opinions but will have to depend on IBM’s Watson to deliver my Sports News…….not so fast! We humans have a chance before these Robots/Smart Machines take over and guess who has to change, you got it, that would be yours truly and all of you! So what has to change according to the authors Hess and Ludwig?
First, understanding that the two big inhibitors of quality thinking, learning and emotionally engaging with others are our Ego and Fears. And we know from the research of the highest performance learning organizations that to mitigate Ego and Fear and excel at the highest levels of emotional engagement requires a new mind- set that embraces Humility. The authors define this mind-set of humility as not being self-centered, ego defensive, self-enhancing, self-promotional, and closed minded. All of these being huge inhibitors of higher order thinking, and strong emotional engagement.
So how do we practice this mind-set of humility? Well the authors list 4 Behaviors:
- Quieting the Ego
- Managing Self
- Reflective Listening
So there you have it, for me, no great revelation! You can read about these 4 behaviors everyday on our blog. The terms might be a little different but not much. And I sure don’t mean any disrespect to the authors, it was a very interesting read and I learned a lot about technology as well as high performance teams and learning environments. However, I have to say with humility and respect to the authors, before you can begin practicing those 4 behaviors, you better do some serious CORE work!
At BTL we believe that when you do the hard work of building your Strong CORE you gain real clarity of vision, a strong inner confidence, deep conviction and a clear sense of purpose. And as our CORE grows strong the thing we have to be constantly aware of is our Human Nature to get all Puffed Up and PROUD and that is WHY the 2nd Essential of Personal Excellence is HUMILITY! When you stop working on your CORE, filling those integrity GAPS, not listening to your truth teller’s…..PRIDE has got you by the ASS and once again it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror. Trust me, whether it’s a tsunami of technology or dysfunction at work, building a Strong CORE is a good first step and humility won’t be far behind if you do the work and practice.