Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. – 1 Peter 5:2-3
The early Church needed to build strong, cohesive communities at the local level in order to establish itself globally. In much the same way, an organization relies on well developed teams to achieve its vision. Today’s leaders would do well to heed Saint Peter’s advice to his presbyters, by ascending to leadership positions both willingly and humbly.
As leaders, we often look to history for our role models, admiring the grand leaders of the past. And while there are many examples of larger than life leaders, they are not the norm. The common, everyday leader does not face storming a foreign beach or toppling an empire, but rather building/maintaining a team capable of attaining ever increasing performance demands. Crucial to this leader’s success, are the trust and loyalty of her team, most often acquired by exhibiting competence and a genuine concern for the individual team members. The humble leader is comfortable in her role, and so does not pull rank or stifle her team member’s voices. She neither fears open dialogue nor the success of others. She treats her team with the dignity worthy of their humanity, and is able to relate on a personal level.
Humility is not weakness. It is not an aversion to discipline. It is not pandering to every want of the team. It is simply the ability to place the success of others above our own concerns. And in so doing, strengthen our organizations.