Issue 76 - 05 | The Amish and the Case for Humility

By Erik Wesner
Published Nov. 3, 2010 12:00 a.m.
“When they’re not around you or me, the Amish speak a language called Pennsylvania German. Demut is their word for humility. And Demut isn’t just for the Amish.

Why does humility matter?

It matters in business. It matters in life. It matters in our relationships.

“Celebrity” is a word you don’t often see next to “humble.” If you’re gunning for stardom, there are only so many spots. Unless you’re one of a select lucky few, you’re bound to be disappointed, or worse. Humility is healthier.

A humble approach in a relationship helps one recognize the other person’s inherent value and needs. Humility fosters human understanding.

If you’re guided by humility in business, you are less likely to blow up the company by going too big, too quick. Humility checks you when that demon in your brain says “more.” The one you know you should ignore.

And as some find out the hard way, humility can save a heck of a lot of pain.”

About Erik Wesner | Erik Wesner is an independent expert on the Amish and their business practices, and author of Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Erik previously spent a decade as a sales manager and record-breaking salesperson at Nashville’s Southwestern Company. He divides his time between Amish communities in America and Poland, the country of his roots. Read more on the Amish at Erik's blog Amish America, covering Amish business, culture, and other topics.
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