Hogan and Humility: What Does It All Mean?

NPH-0057-Humility-InfographicHumility has been a hot topic at Hogan in 2018, and that won’t be changing anytime in the near future. However, many of those familiar with Hogan are probably curious what that means in relation to Hogan scales, and what we look for to identify humble leaders. Although we are still researching the topic, we have determined five key areas pertaining to humility.

  1. Bold (HDS) – Humble people score lower on the Bold scale. Those who score high on Bold tend to assertively promote themselves, overestimate their own abilities and competencies, and may not have realistic expectations of success. Humble people, however, prefer not to promote themselves and seldom fantasize their talents/skills or oversell their abilities.
  2. Leisurely (HDS) – A humble person is less likely to score high on Leisurely. Those who are high Leisurely tend to be passive aggressive, stubborn, and less coachable. In contrast, humble people are open-minded, receptive of critical feedback, and willing to find ways to develop in areas that may be challenging for them.
  3. Power (MVPI) – It should be no surprise that humble people are likely to score lower on Power. They are more interested in getting along than getting ahead, and achieving personal success is not their top priority. Humble people are unlikely to throw their peers under the bus to advance upwards.
  4. Recognition (MVPI) – Our research show that those who are higher on humility tend to be lower on Recognition, which concerns valuing fame, visibility, and the desire to be noticed by others. In other words, humble people don’t want to attract attention to themselves, and evidence show humble peoplewould rather defer the spotlight to the contributions of others.
  5. Hedonism (MVPI) – Those who are higher on humility tend to be lower on Hedonism. Humble individuals generally prefer to stay out of the limelight. Because they defer attention, they likely don’t want to be the source of entertainment; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean humble people avoid having a good time altogether. Future research is needed to investigate the humility/hedonism link.

So, it should come as no surprise that humble leaders are difficult to detect via intuition. They simply are less noticeable, and they prefer it that way. However, organizations looking to identify future leaders that put them in the best position for success need to rely on data rather than intuition. To put it another way, there’s a good chance your next generation of leaders is hidden in plain sight.