Less Ambition, More Humbition

Mavericks at Work explores a new addition to the workplace lexicon—humbition.
What’s humbition? It’s a term Polly and I first heard from Jane Harper, a nearly 30-year veteran of IBM. It is, she explains, the subtle blend of humility and ambition that drives the most successful leaders—an antidote to the know-it-all hubris that affects so many business stars. “The more I know,” she says sensibly, “the more I know there is to know.”

I’m sure we all work with and for people who could improve themselves with this advice. Not that we don’t need to take a spoon or two of it ourselves, just for good measure.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.