The Missing Mark Of Leadership
Leadership resources are legion in our culture, and for good reason - leadership is vital. We all need to be led and we all lead. Books, blogs, conferences, and podcasts are filled with practical instruction on the defining marks of effective leadership. Things like courage, competency, care, communication, and creativity are all essential to leadership.
Sadly, I rarely read, or hear anything about what I would argue, is the most important and attractive mark of effective leadership:
The best leaders are humble leaders. Humble leadership is distinct in at least three ways…
1. Humble leaders learn from others.
Humble leaders don’t assume that they’re the smartest people in the room. We all have something to learn from everyone. Humble leaders listen and look for insight from those around them. Humble leaders are readers. Humble leaders are curious and ask questions. If you’re the type of leader who never has ears to hear from anyone, you’re missing the most important mark of leadership: Humility.
2. Humble leaders admit when they’re wrong.
Leaders make mistakes. The difference between a proud leader and a humble leader isn’t the frequency of mistakes, but the faithfulness to repent and take responsibility. If you’re the type of leader who's quick with excuses, but slow to take responsibility, you’re missing the most important mark of leadership: Humility.
3. Humble leaders let other people play.
Proud leaders squeeze others out of the picture because they are insecure and controlling. Proud leaders do everything themselves and never let anyone else help. Humble leaders delegate, share responsibility, and develop others to perform at the highest capacity possible. So, if your to-do list is a mile long, and your back is bent from the weight of responsibility you refuse to share, you’re missing the most important mark of leadership: Humility.
We don’t need anymore proud leaders - the world is filled with them. What we need most are humble leaders, following the leadership of Jesus who humbled himself to the point of death for those he led (Phil. 2:9). Imagine what Jesus would do with an army of hard working, humble leaders. Your family, neighborhood, workplace, school, and church would never be same.
Humility is the true heart of leadership.