Humility Over Pride

[a version of this was originally posted at i was thinking about it today and wanted to repost it here with some additional commentary. in light of some of what we’re reading about in the tech press it would seem that a remind about this is due]

This advice would seem obvious, if only more people followed it.

I was attending a board meeting recently where a company put up the following as one of its core values: “Humility over pride”

As I think about how often I interact with people who are so ego-centric and hubris; as I consider how seldom these people show any self-awareness or emotional intelligence; and as I reflect on how universally unpleasant it is to work with people who put themselves first, it reinforces how critically important this principal is.

  • Humility over pride means giving before getting.
  • Humility over pride means playing a non zero-sum game where everyone benefits.
  • Humility over pride means listening before reacting.
  • Humility over pride means admitting when you’re wrong or when someone else has a better idea.
  • Humility over pride means putting your organization or company’s goals over your own.

I recently gave an interview for the Eyesight Collective where I talked about an experience I had early in my career that completely changed my attitude and outlook on life. In the video I describe the moment when I went from cocky late 20-something back down to earth in a single, transformative experience. I learned a lot from this moment in my life and I hope by sharing it others will too.

  • Awesome post – loved the video interview.

  • Paul Azous

    Nice work on the video.
    Paul Azous, CEO

  • This was a great reminder Seth. It is interesting that life needs to slap you in the face (sometimes more than once) to break senses we have of entitlement. The path of humility is hugely rewarding.

  • Gregg Thomas

    Howdy Seth,
    We are a wearable tech startup that have experienced many of the VC replies you have been discussing. Any advice on finding a firm that has true interest in the consumer wearable market other than following previous investments? Warm vs. Cold intros haven’t seemed to matter with our meetings, even though we have raised $1.6M to date and have utility patents.

    Gregg Thomas

    • drop me a line over email and i’ll give you a few ideas. seth[at]foundrygroup