Humility—Humble Pie May Be Good for You

Everyone loves to talk about strengths. From commercials to political speeches, to celebrities and job interviewees, people are much more comfortable talking about where they excel, rather than identifying potential weaknesses. The prevailing logic is that hiding one’s shortcomings is the best way to put your “best face forward.” Although this may seem like a reasonable assumption, both research and case studies highlighting the benefits of humility have emerged in recent years. One of my favourite real-life examples comes from Domino’s Pizza.

In the mid-2000s, Domino’s Pizza was really struggling. Russell Weiner, the incoming chief marketing officer, inherited flat sales cycles in the midst of a struggling economy. At the heart of Domino’s’ challenge was the quality of their pizzas, as various internal taste tests had highlighted. Domino’s then took the extra step of gathering feedback from its various stakeholders, including customers and franchisees, to better inform their future directions. Using this critical feedback, they committed to turning out higher quality pizza and revamped their entire recipe from crust to toppings.

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Craig Dowden

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Craig Dowden & Associates is a firm focused on supporting clients in achieving leadership and organizational excellence by leveraging the science of peak performance. He is author of Do Good to Lead Well: The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership.

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