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General Leadership Leadership Principles

H3 Leadership: Humble, Hungry, Hustle, and Their Real World Applications

Welcome to our exploration of H3 Leadership: Humble, Hungry, Hustle. In an increasingly complex and fast-paced world, the need for effective leadership styles is evident. Leadership is not just about steering the ship but also about inspiring and uplifting those on board. That’s where the H3 Leadership model comes in: it emphasizes the importance of humility in accepting our faults, the hunger for continuous learning, and the relentless hustle to achieve goals. These attributes form a framework for growing and nurturing a holistic leadership style geared towards personal enrichment and collective growth. As we delve into the concept of H3 Leadership, we will learn why it’s crucial for our personal development and our contribution towards a more harmonious and productive world. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

Understanding H3 Leadership

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Photo by Markus Spiske

H3 Leadership is not just another leadership book; it’s a practical guide for implementing and living out transformational habits of a leader. Written by Brad Lomenick, a seasoned leader, this book draws on his two decades of experience working with thought-leaders, Fortune 500 CEOs, and start-up entrepreneurs. Lomenick organizes the 20 essential leadership habits into three distinct filters which he calls “the 3 Hs”: Humble, Hungry, and Hustle.

Humble (Who am I?): The first filter focuses on self-discovery and openness. It encourages leaders to know who they are, share their real selves with others, and remain meek in the face of success. Lomenick highlights the importance of having convictions and principles that guide leaders in their decision-making. Furthermore, he stresses the need to prioritize God in one’s life and pursue one’s purpose.

Hungry (Where do I want to go?): This filter is all about ambition, curiosity, and passion. Lomenick emphasizes the need for leaders to develop an appetite for what’s next, continuously learn and ask probing questions, and cultivate a love for what they do. He also encourages leaders to stay innovative, pursue a vision for a better future, and have the bravery to take calculated risks.

Hustle (How will I get there?): The final filter focuses on excellence, execution, team-building, and collaboration. Lomenick emphasizes the importance of setting high standards, committing to completion, and fostering an environment that attracts and retains the best and brightest. He also highlights the significance of building partnerships and leaving a positive impact on the world.

Throughout the book, Lomenick provides practical steps and insights on how to cultivate these habits. He emphasizes the need for leaders to be authentic, listen to others, and acknowledge their own mistakes. Lomenick also acknowledges the challenges faced by humble leaders and suggests finding ways to recharge and take care of oneself.

The power of H3 Leadership lies in its ability to provide a roadmap for leaders at all levels. Whether you’re a CEO, manager, or aspiring leader, this book offers valuable insights and actionable advice. It challenges leaders to examine their own habits, embrace their unique identity, and develop a mindset that puts others before themselves.

By embracing the principles of H3 Leadership, leaders can create a positive and empowering work environment. They can inspire and motivate their teams, foster collaboration, and drive individual and organizational success. H3 Leadership is not just a book; it’s a transformative guide that equips leaders with the tools they need to lead well in any capacity.

So, if you’re ready to become a leader who is humble, hungry, and willing to hustle, dive into H3 Leadership. Let Brad Lomenick be your guide as you navigate the journey of self-discovery and become the leader you were meant to be.

The Principle of Humility in Leadership

At the core of effective leadership lies the principle of humility. Humility is not about being weak or submissive, but rather having the courage to admit when you don’t know something and being open to learning from others. A humble leader recognizes their strengths and successes, but also acknowledges their weaknesses and limitations. They understand that being a leader doesn’t make them invincible.

One of the most important aspects of humility in leadership is the ability to give credit to others and accept responsibility for your own mistakes. A humble leader knows that the team they lead is more important than themselves, and they actively seek to create a culture where people feel valued and appreciated. They understand that their success is built on the collective efforts of their team members.

Humility in leadership also involves staying grounded no matter what. It’s easy for success to go to one’s head, but a humble leader remains humble even in the face of accomplishments. They understand that true success is not about personal achievements, but about the impact they have on their team and the organization as a whole.

Another key aspect of humility in leadership is recognizing the value of others. A humble leader appreciates the skills and abilities of their team members. They don’t feel threatened by others’ success, but rather see it as an opportunity for collaboration and growth. They create an environment where people feel empowered to share their ideas and contribute to the [2] team’s success.

Being humble also means knowing that you don’t have all the answers. A humble leader is not afraid to say “I don’t know” when asked a question. They recognize that learning is a lifelong journey and that they can always benefit from the insights and perspectives of others. They encourage a culture of continuous learning and personal growth within their team.

Humility in leadership is important for several reasons. It builds trust and credibility with team members, as it shows that the leader is willing to admit their mistakes and learn from them. It fosters collaboration and teamwork, as humble leaders create an environment where everyone’s contributions are valued. It also leads to personal growth and development, as humble leaders are always open to learning and improving themselves.

To develop humility in leadership, it’s important to practice self-reflection and self-awareness. Take time to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to seek feedback from others. Practice active listening and genuinely value the ideas and perspectives of your team members. And most importantly, lead with empathy and empower others to succeed.

Humility is a foundational principle of effective leadership. It involves giving credit to others, staying grounded, recognizing the value of others, and being open to learning. Humble leaders create a culture of trust, collaboration, and continuous learning within their teams. By embracing humility in leadership, you can become a better leader and make a positive impact on those around you. So, let’s lead with humility and make a difference [1] in our teams and organizations.

The Concept of Hunger in Leadership

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Photo by Dollar Gill

When considering ‘Hunger’, it’s important to recognize that Lomenick is not alluding to physical hunger, but rather a metaphorical longing and drive for success, for growth, and for the relentless pursuit of improvement. It is the firm resolve to never cease learning, developing, and questing for next-level achievements.

Hunger, when applied to leadership, associates with a leader’s unyielding aspiration to reach their goals while continuously setting new ones. It’s about possessing an appetite for what’s next, an impassioned drive to succeed that’s never satiated, and an everlasting desire to get better. Leaders driven by hunger are continually inquisitive, always eager for the next big idea, the next opportunity, the constant drive forward.

This attribute is intrinsically tied to curiosity and learning. Hungry leaders are usually those who are commonly reading, enrolling in additional courses, hunting through podcasts, articles, or YouTube channels hunting for further knowledge, insights, and inspiration. They thirst for new ideas, approaches, skills, and knowledge.

The concept of hunger in leadership also ties strongly to resilience and determination. Hungry leaders are often those who persevere, who bounce back from failures, learn from their mistakes, and stubbornly continue to march towards their goals. It’s not just about ambition – it’s about resilience, tenacity, and never giving up.

It also connects to agility and adaptability. Leaders guided by a sense of hunger are often those who adapt quickly to change, who seek out the new and different, and who are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re always looking for better ways of doing things, never resting on their laurels.

Finally, such leaders know the value of humility and are quick to share their knowledge and success. The goal for them is not self-aggrandizement, but a keen eye on the ultimate success, recognizing that it’s often a collective effort.

Hunger in leadership is about cultivating an insatiable desire to learn, improve, innovate, and succeed, with a firm focus on collaboration, resilience, agility, and an incessant quest for greater heights. If you embody this attribute, there’s no telling how far you can lead!

The Importance of Hustle in Leadership

For starters, hustle is about displaying a consistent drive and determination. It illustrates a leader’s willingness to work hard, get things done, and achieve success. This is not just about being aggressive or competitive, but about being resilient, proactive, and relentlessly pursuing the organization’s goals.

Hustle is the antithesis of complacency. Leaders who embody hustle are always looking for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve. They don’t wait for opportunities to come. They create them. These leaders understand that stagnation can lead to decline, and therefore, they continuously push for progress in both themselves and their teams.

Yet, leaders should always remember that hustle is not about working ourselves to exhaustion. In a culture where burnout is a real concern, striking a delicate balance is key. Overworking can lead to decreased performance and lower quality of results which is directly against the original aim of ‘hustle’. Instead, we need to embrace ‘smart hustle’, which is all about working effectively and efficiently.

The essence of ‘hustle’ is also evident in how we respond to failures and setbacks. In every leader’s journey, adversities are inevitable. However, leaders who embrace hustle view these adversities not as stumbling blocks but stepping stones. They learn from their failures, pivot when necessary, and remain steadfast in their pursuit of success.

And yet, ‘hustle’ must always be coupled with the two other facets of H3 leadership – humility, and hunger. It’s about maintaining a learner’s mindset, demonstrating humility in recognising our limits, and displaying hunger for continuous learning and growth. Only by coupling hustle with humility and hunger can we truly foster a leadership style that motivates, inspires, and drives performance.

Hustle is a vital characteristic for leaders navigating the complexities of today’s fast-paced world. However, the meaning of ‘hustle’ extends beyond mere hard work. It’s about demonstrating resilience, proactive progression, effective working, and learning from our setbacks. As leaders, let’s redefine hustle from mere agitation to focused action, incorporating it seamlessly into our leadership journey, alongside humility and hunger.

As a leader, ask yourself: how can you add more ‘hustle’ into your leadership style? How can you inspire a culture of ‘hustle’ within your team? Embrace the H3 Leadership model, lead with humble, hungry, hustle, and see how it leads to transformed success!

Application of H3 Leadership in Real World

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Photo by Jehyun Sung

At its core, H3 Leadership is about developing essential leadership habits that will transform your leadership style and make a positive impact in your organization. By embracing the principles of being humble, staying hungry, and always hustling, you can create a culture of excellence and inspire your team to reach their full potential. Here’s how you can apply the principles of H3 Leadership in the real world:

Be Humble (Who am I?)

1. Foster a culture of humility

Lead by example and encourage your team to embrace humility as a core value. Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and where credit is given where it’s due.

2. Practice active listening

Truly listen to your team members, value their input, and show genuine interest in their ideas and perspectives. This not only builds trust but also promotes collaboration and innovation.

3. Own your mistakes

Take ownership of your mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth and learning. Admitting when you’re wrong and seeking feedback from others shows vulnerability and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Stay Hungry (Where do I want to go?)

1. Continuously learn and develop

Stay curious and hungry for knowledge. Invest in your own personal and professional development through reading, attending conferences, and seeking out mentors or coaches who can help you grow as a leader.

2. Set ambitious goals

Encourage your team to set ambitious goals and provide them with the resources and support they need to achieve them. Foster a growth mindset and empower your team to take calculated risks and push beyond their comfort zones.

3. Embrace innovation

Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in your industry and encourage creativity and innovation within your team. Create a culture that rewards and values new ideas and brings them to life.

Always Hustle (How will I get there?)

1. Lead by example

Show a strong work ethic and lead with a sense of urgency. Be proactive, take initiative, and follow through on your commitments. Your team will be inspired to match your level of dedication and drive.

2. Foster a culture of excellence

Set high standards and expect the best from yourself and your team. Encourage a growth mindset and provide feedback and recognition when goals are achieved. Celebrate success and learn from failures.

3. Prioritize collaboration

Foster a collaborative environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, seeking feedback, and working together towards common goals. Encourage cross-functional collaboration and break down silos that hinder productivity and innovation.

By applying the principles of H3 Leadership, you can create a culture of excellence, inspire your team, and drive meaningful results. Leadership is not just about a title or position, but about positively impacting those around you and leading by example. Start implementing these habits today and watch your leadership journey flourish. May the insights and principles of H3 Leadership illuminate your path toward becoming the leader you aspire to be.


[1] Humble leadership and its outcomes: A meta-analysis
[2] Humility in Leadership | Management Consulted

Max Johnson

Max Johnson is currently a Vice President at a Fortunate 100 company. He has also held multiple leadership positions at two startups previously. When he is not busy working, you can find him surfing at the beach or skiing in the mountains.

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