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Have you had those moments when a belief you know is true is called upon again and again in a short period of time? Almost as if the Universe, God, or Someone wanted to make sure you heard it or perhaps that you shared it. I had another potential client, a CEO, approach me this week about Imposter Syndrome – pretending you are something you are not… 

As odd as this may sound, for me the basis of this syndrome is a lack of humility.

It is based on the inability to allow ourselves to be human.

There is this mythical belief that we are supposed to be perfect, to have total control, to have all the answers or to know how, in secret, to find them. In humility, however, we can see all the gifts we bring to the table and having all the answers isn’t one of them. We don’t even know all the questions.

It’s in understanding our willingness to keep growing and to support those around us in doing the same, that we come to see that our greatest gift is not perfection but a willingness to see the big picture and to continue learning. There is no imposter present but only a leader dedicated to service and becoming more, first for his or her own pleasure as well as to better serve all those who look to them for support and guidance. 

Humility acknowledges the truth of our many gifts, innate and developed, along with the ability to have greater and greater impact and influence. That’s not ego, it is truth, commitment, and a desire to serve while making the organization, the people, and the world better.

Humility is not a word we see frequently.

It’s as if it belongs only in early childhood religious training.  Yes, it is a trait taught in religious classes, however, it is also a trait that supports us in being real, authentic, and curious. When we acknowledge all that we bring to the table humbly, we are open and excited to learn what each other person in our world brings to the table as well. It is not about being more or less valuable; it is about more opportunities to learn, to see, and to experience another at their best. It can also teach us to look at the world through a different lens.

Without it being a challenge to our sense of self, we get to see how we all can work together to create an amazing organization, even an amazing world if we are all in this together. An inner knowing, intuition, extensive training and experience, all combine to support us in leading. 

I am certain, every leader who is honest with themselves will remember those moments when they “knew” they were the hot shot of the moment when they blew it. It caused them to stop listening, to lean into taking and demanding.

If they are open, they can also see, the moment that illusion passed, was the moment they could lovingly laugh at themselves and come back to authenticity, to humility, and to listening.  It was also the moment they accepted their humanity, and in humility, could see that they were offered this job, or took a deep breath and solidified their own company, and were only then ready to truly lead. Learning, serving, and growing all along the way.


Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.