To become a successful individual has never been an easy task, and has always cost many sacrifices and endeavours to those who have undertaken the effort. That’s why those few who succeed in life, and have plenty of proofs of their success, are most of the time inclined to show it off to the rest of the world.
“Once you get at the top, you’ll stay at the top” they think, which is true most of the times. But even if being airy and full of it will never undermine a CV full of shiny stuff, it can cause irreparable harm to what other people think of you. Humbleness is not required to get to success and leadership, but since a successful leader needs to be loved – not just feared – by his team, humbleness is essential to keep being successful and get always more of it.
A practical and effective way for a smart guy to show people he understands the value of staying humble is self irony and understatement: it helps minimizing the person without undermining his role, thus showing to a team that the leader himself is able to grasp the difference between the two. It is also a cunning way to keep a team respecting Leadership without fearing the Leader.