February 2019 | Humility

The leader’s passion and goal is to succeed; to make things better and to do them better. The most effective leaders are not motivated by glory, they’re motivated by progress. Research shows that the most successful leaders are humble leaders. Humble leaders have more, influence, they attract more followers, they earn more loyalty, confidence, respect and achieve more progress than those who rely upon their pride. It’s interesting that when we think of great leadership qualities usually the first thing that comes to mind are talents, abilities, charisma and tenacity. But the truth is that humble leaders are the most effective leaders.

The Humble Leader

The great Martin Luther once said, “If you have nothing worth dying for, you’ve got nothing worth living for.” A humble leader is always driven by a cause or purpose greater than him or herself. A cause and a purpose that the leader is not only willing to live for but also to live out his or her life for. No other leader exemplifies humble leadership more than Jesus Christ. It was his greatest asset. When the Apostle Paul summed up Jesus’ life and ministry the attribute that he found most impressive was not Jesus’ knowledge or miracle working power. The attribute that most impressed Paul was Jesus’ humility. The Apostle Paul:

(Jesus) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name …
— Philippians 2:6-9 NIV

Becoming a Humble Leader

As leaders the apostle Paul commands us;

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” – Philippians 2:3-5 NIV

No matter how gifted or talented you are you’ll not achieve your fullest potential as a leader without developing a humble attitude. Here are some mindsets you can make a part of your leadership practices that will turn you into a humble leader.

Humble leaders have a serving attitude

They understand that the key to successful leadership is to possess the ability to influence others. They understand that influence increases or decreases according to the level of the relationship. The weaker the relationship the weaker the ability to influence. The stronger the relationship the greater the ability to influence. Humble leaders understand that the best way to build a strong relationship is by seeking opportunities to serve others. The better you serve, the better the relationship. The better the relationship, the more the influence. The more the influence, the greater the leadership success

Humble leaders have an attitude of appreciation

They understand that people are more productive when their work is appreciated. In a recent study, a researcher randomly divided university fund-raiser employees into two groups. Each group worked independent of each other. The researcher instructed the director of fund-raising to express gratitude to one group and not to the other. By weeks end the workers who had heard the message of appreciation made 50% morel calls than those who did not.

Humble leaders have a work on themselves first attitude

They understand that humility leads to growth and that arrogance is an impediment to growth. Arrogant leaders love to work on others. But humble leaders prioritize working on themselves first. And working on themselves more than they work on others. They understand that the better they become as leaders, the better the people around them will become.

As a leader ask yourself:

  1. How can you best serve the people you lead?

  2. Are you consistently expressing your appreciation to those you lead? How can you specifically express appreciation to them?

  3. What have you done to better yourself as a leader over the previous 90 days?