The personality trait most people see as a weakness may actually be a huge asset in business

Dave Carvajal
Dave Carvajal (pictured) calls this trait ‘woefully undervalued.’ Dave Carvajal

Humility isn’t a trait you’d often associate with business.

Confidence, resilience, and persuasiveness are all no-brainers, but it’s hard to see how a generous slice of humble pie will get you ahead.

If anything, it would seem like having a modest view of your abilities and putting others before you would hold you back even in a mildly competitive office culture.

But that’s where Dave Carvajal, CEO of executive headhunting firm “Dave Partners” and author of the upcoming book “Hire Smart from the Start,” disagrees.

“Humility, I think, is woefully undervalued in American business,” he tells Business Insider.

In fact, Carvajal, who has placed execs within companies like Warby Parker, Shutterstock, and Tumblr, says that smart companies should seek out humble folks. That goes double for companies looking to disrupt or innovate industries.

With disruption comes mistakes and lessons learned on the job. Humble people aren’t ruled by their egos — they can admit to and learn from mistakes and change course when necessary. They don’t strive for success for themselves, but instead work toward the betterment of their teams. They avoid division and undercutting, preferring a more collaborative style of leadership and teamwork.

That makes them ideal for companies that are striving to enter new territory.

“All learning and growth requires openness,” Carvajal says.