The Humble Leaders

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.


4 thoughts on “The Humble Leaders

  1. “Humility is not weakness”..a truer statement would be hard to find. Everyone has an ego and successful, risk-taking achievers must always be conscious to be humble. One of my favorite verses in Luke 18:13. Take a look. It is, for me the classic case for humility. Your post also applies to parents, would you not agree? A sense of “belonging,” of contentment, of safety and security is so vital to a family.

    Today, I am hoping for a sense of intellect to bring a glimmer, a small candle-light to our ruined culture. America has so few humble political leaders. Have a good week, Pete

    • Nice blog, Pete. Unfortunately, ego has always ruled most secular leaders, particularly in this present age, where many would be scantily clad if clothed in humility. Conversely, I would say most church leaders I’ve known pattern their leadership styles according to 1 Peter 5:2-3.

      I will be checking your blogs periodically, obviously you have grown into a fine man.

    • Rob, great example of true humility in Luke 18:13. The tax collector would not even lift his eyes to heaven. “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” is a crucial part of my daily prayers. Thank you for you excellent comment. Be blessed!

    • Gentlemen, thank you both for commenting. I enjoy the conversation that developments from these posts. Humility is the gift that allows me to see the human sitting before me when I’m placed in a position of disciplining after an error. It’s what reminds me of the many times that an individual employee completed their assignment properly as compared to the few failures. I have unfortunately had to fire people in my time, but at least I could do so as gently as possible.

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