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Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Business, Featured, Inspirational, Leadership, Talent | 4 comments

How to Calculate Your Leadership Bold-Humble Index


Editorial Note: Everyday, we are inundated by news, media, blogs etc., seeking leadership characteristics our world seems desperate to find in business. Top CEOs and execs are scrutinized by fellow members of the C-suite, colleagues, employees, and the general public as they courageously take the spotlight. But if we could sift out all the ingredients of the essential leader to find the fundamental elements needed at the core of every businessman or woman, we can then begin to build the recipe for success not based on profit, but character. Anne’s article reveals how to calculate a ratio between humility and boldness, creating a new leadership flavor, Humbold.


It’s one part humility and one part boldness.

Leaders who are both humble and bold, “Humbold”, lead boldly on behalf of a compelling idea or vision. By maintaining focus on the vision, and not on themselves, they also lead with humility. Ipso facto – Humbold.

How to calculate your Leadership “Humbold to Ego” Ratio

Using a 10-point scale, where 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest, assign a rating for each of the following areas:

  1. Ego -The degree to which you are motivated by the need to gratify your ego
  2. Boldness – How bold you are when leading on behalf of an idea or vision you believe in, something that leads others to be more, better.
  3. Humility – The degree to which you don’t need to take credit, get credit or hear the applause of raving fans

It’s one part humility and one part boldness.

NOTE: If your ratings are based on self-assessment only, and you did not ask others to rate you, raise your ego score and lower your humility score by 5 points each.

If you asked others to rate you, raise your humility score and lower your ego score by 2 points each.

Your Humble rating + Bold rating = Your Humbold score

Divide your Humbold score by your Ego rating.

This is your Humbold to Ego ratio.


Now find the category that fits you best.

2.0 or lower     Your ego is running the show and everybody but you knows it

2 .1  -  3.0         You’ve got a long way to go

3.1   -  10.0       You’re on your way

10.1  – 15.0       Humbold !!

15.1  – 20           Extraordinary – Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi-esque


Why Your Humbold to Ego Ratio Matters

We are born into talents. They do not belong to us. We are a vessel for their expression.

It goes something like this. Your mind is visited by an idea. This idea exists separate and apart from your ability to see it. The idea is present in the universe. It is available to be known.

Be bold because the idea chose you. You owe it your boldness.

You are simply the vehicle and not the knowing or the knower. Because you see the idea, you have taken responsibility for driving it forward. You do that with your voice, your words, your mind, your heart.

Your voice carries the idea on a song. You are like the bird that sings, but did not create the song.

It is simply there to be sung. The bird sings because it can. You lead because you can, and so…

Lead with humility.

Lead boldly.

Be bold because the idea chose you. You owe it your boldness. Be bold because that’s what’s required to bring this idea into reality, to give it wings.

Be humble because the idea does not belong to you.


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Image credit: narokzaad / 123RF Stock Photo


Dr Anne Perschel

Dr. Anne Perschel, president of Germane Consulting and Co-founder 3Plus International, has over twenty years experience as a leadership and business psychologist. Prior to launching her own businesses, Anne held senior management roles at two Fortune 50 companies. Anne is a change leadership consultant, executive coach, confidant and adviser to senior leaders, their teams, and high potential up-and-comers. She cajoles, humors, leads, influences, pushes, pulls and does whatever it takes to bring leaders to the intersection of high achievement, high returns, high fulfillment and their highest potential.

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  • Achim Nowak

    Anne – I just LOVE “Humbold” – so simple, so clear, so profound and practical, all at once. I will shamelessly appropriate this language in some of my client conversations. Thank you!

  • Jeff

    Love the “Humbold” term! Very creative. Thanks!

  • Les

    Sounds a lot like servant-leadership!!

  • Matt Monge

    The moment we rate ourselves as extremely humble, we can be assured that we’re not.