Exploring the development of humble leaders in the context of agriculture
The complexity of the world today requires leadership that is interconnected rather than self-serving. This is particularly important within the context of agriculture, a field at the forefront of the complex problems associated with the impact of climate change. In recent years, the role virtues play in effective leadership has gained a significant amount of attention. One particular virtue that has seen increased attention in the leadership research is humility. Humility has been identified as a way to counteract the negative outcomes of self-serving leadership, namely, unethical practices and leader narcissism. Over the past several decades, researchers and scholars have begun to shed light on the many benefits this elusive virtue brings to leadership, however, many questions remain, notably, “How do humble leaders develop their leadership?” The present qualitative study found that humble agriculture leaders develop their leadership style through (a) the development of strong personal values, (b) investments in human and social capital, and (c) supportive feedback. The findings from this research provide recommendations for agricultural leadership educators to consider when building leadership programs that have the goal of developing humble leaders ready to address complex problems in the context of agriculture and natural resources.
Andenoro, A. C., Allen, S. J., Haber-Curran, P., Jenkins, D. M., Sowcik, M., Dugan, J. P., & Osteen, L. (2013). National leadership education research agenda 2013-2018: Providing strategic direction for the field of leadership education. Association of Leadership Educators. http://leadershipeducators.org/ResearchAgenda.
Avolio, B. J., & Hannah, S. T. (2008). Developmental readiness: Accelerating leader development. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 60(4), 331-347. https://doi.org/10.1037/1065-9218.104.22.1681
Bennis, W. G., & Thomas, R. J. (2002, September). Crucibles of leadership. Harvard Business Review, 60-69. https://hbr.org/2002/09/crucibles-of-leadership
Bollinger, R. A., & Hill, P. C. (2012). Humility. In T. G. Plante (Ed.), Religion, spirituality, and positive psychology: Understanding the psychological fruits of faith (pp. 31-47). Praeger.
Bowlby, J. (1973). Separation: Anxiety and anger. Basic Books.
Chiu, C.-Y. (C.), Owens, B. P., & Tesluk, P. E. (2016). Initiating and utilizing shared leadership in teams: The role of leader humility, team proactive personality, and team performance capability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(12), 1705-1720. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000159
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design. Sage.
Collins, J. C. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap and others don't. Harper Collins.
Day, D. V. (2000). Leadership development: A review in context. The Leadership Quarterly, 11(4), 581-613. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1048-9843(00)00061-8
Dwiwardani, C., Hill, P. C., Bollinger, R. A., Marks, L. E., Steele, J. A., Doolin, H. N., & Davis, D. E. (2014). Virtues develop from a secure base: Attachment and resilience as predictors of humility, gratitude, and forgiveness. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 42(1), 83-90. https://doi.org/10.1177/009164711404200109
Exline, J. J. (2012). Humility and the ability to receive from others. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 31(1), 40-51.
Fusch, P. I., & Ness, L. R. (2015). Are we there yet? Data saturation in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 20(9), 1408-1416. http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR20/9/fusch1.pdf
Gardner, J. (1993). On leadership. Simon and Schuster.
Heifetz, R., & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Harvard Business Review Press.
Johnson, M. K., Rowatt, W. C., & Petrini, L. (2011). A new trait on the market: Honesty–humility as a unique predictor of job performance ratings. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(6), 857-862. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.01.011
Kinsinger, P., & Walch, K. (2012). Living and leading in a VUCA world. Thunderbird, 1-4.
Kuczmarski, S. S., & Kuczmarski, T. D. (1995). Values-based leadership. Prentice Hall.
LaBouff, J. P., Rowatt, W. C., Johnson, M. K., Tsang, J. A., & Willerton, G. M. (2012). Humble persons are more helpful than less humble persons: Evidence from three studies. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(1), 16-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2011.626787
Lavelock, C. R., Worthington, E. L., Griffin, B. J., Garthe, R. C., Elnasseh, A., Davis, D. E., & Hook, J. N. (2017). Still waters run deep: Humility as a master virtue. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45(4), 286–303. https://doi.org/10.1177/009164711704500404
Li, J. (2016). Humility in learning: A confucian perspective. Journal of Moral Education, 45(2), 147-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2016.1168736
Marshall, M. N. (1996). The key informant technique. Family Practice, 13(1), 92-97. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/13.1.92
Morris, J. A., Brotheridge, C. M., & Urbanski, J. C. (2005). Bringing humility to leadership: Antecedents and consequences of leader humility. Human Relations, 58(10), 1323-1350. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726705059929
Owens, B. P., & Hekman, D. R. (2012). Modeling how to grow: An inductive examination of humble leader behaviors, contingencies, and outcomes. Academy of Management Journal, 55(4), 787-818. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2010.0441
Pearce, P., Waldman, D., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2006). Virtuous leadership: A theoretical model and research agenda. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 3(1), 60–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/14766080609518611
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford University Press.
Piff, P. K., Dietze, P., Feinberg, M., Stancato, D. M., & Keltner, D. (2015). Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(6), 883–899. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000018
Powers, C., Nam, R.K., Rowatt, W.C & Hill, P.C. (2007). Associations between humility, spiritual transcendence, and forgiveness. In R.L Piedmont (Ed.), Research in the social scientific study of religion, Volume 18 (pp. 75-94). Brill.
Prime, J., & Salib, E.R. (2014). Inclusive leadership: The view from six countries. Catalyst, 120-122. https://www.catalyst.org/research/inclusive-leadership-the-view-from-six-countries/
Rego, A., Owens, B., Leal, S., Melo, A. I., Cunha, M. P., Gonçalves, L., & Ribeiro, P. (2017). How leader humility helps teams to be humbler, psychologically stronger, and more effective: A moderated mediation model. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(5), 639-658. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2017.02.002
Roberts, T. G., Harder, A., & Brashears, M. T. (2016). American Association for Agricultural Education national research agenda: 2016-2020. http://aaaeonline.org/resources/Documents/AAAE_National_Research_Agenda_2016-2020.pdf
Russell, R. F. (2001). The role of values in servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22(2), 76-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730110382631
Saldaña, J. (2015). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Sage.
Satterwhite, R., Miller, W. M., & Sheridan, K. (2015). Leadership for sustainability and peace: Responding to the wicked challenges of the future. In M. Sowcik, T. Andenoro, M. McNutt & S. Murphy (Eds.), Leadership 2050: Critical challenges, key contexts, and emerging trends, (pp. 59-74). Emerald Group.
Schwartz, S. H., & Bilsky, W. (1990). Toward a theory of the universal content and structure of values: Extensions and cross-cultural replications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(5), 878–891. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1248
Sowcik, M. J., Andenoro, A. C., & Council, A. (2017). Addressing the biggest (baddest) and best ideas ever: Through the lens of humility. Journal of Leadership Education, 16(4), 164-179. https://doi.org/10.12806/V16/I4/T5
Stedman, N. L., & Andenoro, A. C. (2015). Emotionally engaged leadership: Shifting paradigms and creating adaptive solutions for 2050. In M. Sowcik, T. Andenoro, M. McNutt & S. Murphy (Eds.), Leadership 2050: critical challenges, key contexts, and emerging trends, (pp.145-156). Emerald Group.
Stellar, J. E., Gordon, A., Anderson, C. L., Piff, P. K., McNeil, G. D., & Keltner, D. (2018). Awe and humility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114(2), 258-269. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000109
Tangney, J. P. (2002). Humility. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.) Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 411–719). Oxford University Press.
Tangney, J. P. (2000). Humility: Theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and directions for future research. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 70-82. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.70
Van Tongeren, D. R., & Myers, D. G. (2017). A social psychological perspective on humility. In E. L. Worthington, Jr., D. E. Davis, & J. N. Hook (Eds.), Handbook of humility (pp. 150–164). Routledge.
Vera, D., & Rodriguez-Lopez, A. (2004). Strategic virtues: Humility as a source of competitive advantage. Organizational Dynamics, 33(4), 393-408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2004.09.006
Copyright (c) 2020 Austin Council, Matthew Sowcik
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.