It sounds like something from the Chinese classic "The Art of War," but it's Kerry K. Killinger's stolid Midwestern mantra for success.

"Stay a bit on the humble order; it'll help you minimize your blind spots," the chairman of Washington Mutual Inc. advised.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.