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Leaders on Leadership: Tony Miller

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Posted: February 18, 2020
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As part of a series on leadership, we asked the executives of Toyota Material Handling what advice they have for aspiring leaders in the material handling industry. This week, we feature TMH Senior Vice President Tony Miller.


Advice to 25-year-old self: “Always be humble. Always believe you can learn something from everyone you meet. Take ownership of your own development and make it a priority to constantly learn and grow.”


Leadership Thoughts: “For a leader, there is nothing more dangerous than pride … and the opposite of pride is humility. People sometimes think of a humble leader as a weak leader and nothing can be further from the truth. I see humility as a sign of strength. When you are humble, you understand that there is always room to grow, you recognize your need for others, and you believe that others’ interests are more important than your own. These are all important to building trust with your team.”


5 Ways to be a Humble Leader:    


  1. Consistently show gratitude. Take the time to consistently recognize your team members, but not with an email – use public settings to show gratitude. Take time to hand write a note to show how much you appreciate them. Never use your title for special privileges. You want to show people how important you are? Have a reserved parking spot close to the building while making your team members walk from far away. Humble leadership is about serving others, not being served.
  2. Never stop learning and growing. Kaizen is the Japanese word for continuous improvement and the belief that everything can always be improved. Humble leaders have this belief about themselves. Humility is the door for continuous learning and growing.
  3. Revel in the success of others. The humble leaders not only produce results, they produce other leaders. They make it a priority to develop team members. Because it comes from a servant heart, humble leaders can have hard conversations in the spirit of development.
  4. Take responsibility for failure and give credit to others for success. Humble leaders will always stand in front of the target and take the shots when things are not going well. They stand in the back and give their team members the sunshine of success.


Quote to Note: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2

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