Leadership and Humility

Humility and Leadership rarely are associated together but a leader must learn to be humble

Humility and Leadership rarely are associated together but a leader must learn to be humble

photo by BUR?BLUE

When you do a word association with humility, leadership probably does not pop into your head. A leader should be great, glorious, and confident right? If their confidence leads them to be prideful well then so be it.  It’s probably OK for someone to be a little prideful if they have earned the right to be prideful.   Well not according to Jesus and many others in recent history who have studied truly great leaders.

Take a look at the example Jesus left for us at the last supper. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus did something extraordinary; He got up, got a towel and water, and began to wash the feet of each of His followers. In that time only a servant, and the humblest of servants at that, washed people’s feet. Yet Jesus did this to show us what a leader should really look like. He showed us that a leader needs to be thinking and serving those who follow them. They need to put their follower’s needs ahead of their own. A leader has incredible responsibility, and one of them is to make sure that the needs of those entrusted to him or her are taken care of.

When a leader is humble and takes time to look after the needs of those following them, then the followers will be more willing and able to follow and do whatever needs to be done to accomplish the goal at hand.

Especially today, humility is not a popular trait.  Somehow William Bennet left it out of his best seller The Book of Virtues.  Maybe there were not enough stories of a humble protagonist, or maybe humility does not sell.  :-)   If a leader does not continue to pursue humility it is likely they will soon become prideful and fall into traps caused by the sin of pride.  A humble leader accepts the council of others and grows from it.

I once heard the phrase that humility is not thinking less of yourself it is not thinking of yourself at all.  President’s Lincoln and Reagan both modeled this characteristic of humility well.  Nancy Reagan said of President Reagan that he had no ego.  He was not concerned about himself.  Though many great leaders are attributed with the quote “You can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”  It was certainly an opinion that Reagan voiced often and probably helped to keep him humble as he made his way up the ladder of success.

If you want to pursue humility it helps to keep your focus on Christ who was humble despite being God.  It helps to give away all the credit you can.  It also helps to receive encouragement and praise with a simple “Thank You.” or “Praise God.”  A false humility that says, “Oh it was nothing.”  Simply causes the giver of the praise to have to offer more or justify their original statement, whereas a thank you or focus on God causes the attention to go back to that person or to God.

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Break in Posts

Sorry there haven’t been any posts the last few days. I was at a military resort called Okuma and the internet was not cooperating with Mac Books. Imagine that. :-) I have to admit it was nice not to check my email, facebook and twitter for a few days. I wonder if that would be a good regular spiritual discipline for people these days since we are so connected to our technology.

I’ll try to upload one video later today and pick up with daily videos again starting tomorrow.

Blessings on your journey as you seek to Live, Love and Lead like Jesus.


Motivational Gifts

A book that flew way under the “Christian Leadership Radar” was Be A Leader for God’s Sake, by Dr. Bruce Winston.  One of the really cool things in that book that I am still working through and not 100% sure of but seems to make a lot of sense to me is separating the different gift lists in scripture instead of combining them into one big list and trying to create inventories off of the combined list.  My other option is that there really isn’t an exhaustive list in scripture.

Dr. Winston states that he thinks the Romans 12 gift list is given by God the Father to all humans, Christian or not, as part of his common grace.  In my experience this seems to be true.  The 1 Corinthians 12 list is from the Holy Spirit to build up believers in the body and the Ephesians 4 gifts are from Jesus to build up the church.    Anyway, there is an excellent inventory for the Romans 12 list that was online for a while and then was gone but now is back.  You might want to take it while you have the chance.  Best of all it’s free.


Definition of Leadership

I was at a men’s bible study last week and heard a definition of leadership that was shared there.

See a perceived need, develop a biblical plan to meet it and empower everyone involved by your personal love and commitment.

They are still working on refining it, but Bob Butz the guy who shared the definition with me, said that the over riding principle the under girds it all is an intrinsic desire to see everyone around them succeed.

As I spent a little time in his office, I noticed that he was truly concerned with the people that he came into contact with.  His accountant called to say that he had accidentally double paid 5 people.  He handled the issue with grace and then asked the accountant about one of the employee’s health and another’s marriage and promised his prayers.

While I didn’t witness any perceived needs being met in my short time there I did witness an intrinsic desire for the good of everyone around them even as they thought about how to best help employees that weren’t really pulling their weight.

It’s always fun to see people that are truly trying to lead as they think Jesus would.  As we allow our hearts and minds to be transformed by the Word and the Spirit of God we will live, love and lead like Jesus.