Sunday, August 21, 2011

HUMILITY: The Key to Great Leadership--Adam Jeske

A couple weeks ago John Dickson spoke at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. Here’s what he had to say about humility that I think is a huge concept leaders must embrace for true and real Kingdom impact...

Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself.

Humility will not automatically make you great. And being great will not make you humble. Humility makes the great greater.

Here are five characteristics of humility:

1. Humility is common sense. None of us is an expert in everything, so we understand our limits and thus need humility. Within the Church, because the Bible trumps all other knowledge, Christian leaders sometimes think they know about topics and fields way outside their area. Actually, what we don’t know and can’t do far exceeds what we do know and can do.

2. Humility is beautiful. We are more attracted to the great and humble than to the great who know they’re great and want us to know it, too. It’s not always been so. Our research found that a humility revolution took place in the first century, stemming from Nazareth. We found it was Jesus’ crucifixion that changed how ancient people thought about humility. Crucifixion was the lowest possible ending to life. “So did Jesus’ death mean he wasn’t as great as we thought he was?” No, they decided, and they redefined greatness, through humility. Western culture has been profoundly shaped by the cross of Christ. Our culture is profoundly cruciform. Philippians 2:38 has had a profound effect.

3. Humility is generative. It leads to new ideas. Humility has been formative for scientific investigation and for business theory and practice. The humbling place is where flourishing happens.

4. Humility is persuasive. That’s because the most persuasive person is the one who you know has your best interest at heart. If someone serves you tea, you may be more easily convinced by them later because of their demonstration humility through their service.

5. Humility is inspiring. If someone is aloof, you don’t feel like you can really follow in their footsteps, as you’re too different. We just admire them. But if someone is humble and open, we feel we can be like them. They are human enough. Some of the most inspiring leaders in history had no structural authority. Jesus comes to mind.


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