Can Leaders Display Humility?

Yeah, I’m the big shot around here. I built all of this with my two hands and the people I chose to bring in. This was all me, baby…

Grandiose, bravado, supreme confidence…

These are the characteristics most people think of when they think of a leader. The leader takes charge, takes credit, and moves things.

A person walking in front of other people on a hill

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

But is that always the case? Are leaders always bragging about themselves, sharing tall tales, and being the center of attention?

I think not.

Instead, I think there is a case to be made for humble leaders.

Today, we will look at a few examples to see how we can become more humble in our leadership. It’s a trait that will serve you well.

Can Leaders Display Humility?

When I think of humility, I think of Jesus Christ. He displayed it throughout the New Testament.

What did Jesus do that was an example of humble leadership? In Phillippians 2, we are told the mindset of Christ. Jesus had this humble mindset:

  • Did not consider himself equal with God
  • Took on the nature of a servant
  • Became obedient to death (when he didn’t have to)
  • Took the appearance of a man

While we could never consider ourselves equal with God, Jesus had more of a leg to stand on in this regard. He was the son of God. He was a perfect embodiment of God and man. It would be easy for him to consider himself higher than he was.

We fall in this area. We believe our own hype. We puff ourselves up and think we’re equal to the owner of the organization we serve. We believe our decisions are the be-all, end-all.

Let’s take on a stance of humility.

How often do you take on the position or nature of a servant? How do you seek to serve those you lead? Do you even do this?

To display humility, we can look around our office or workplace to see the areas that need servants. Then we serve. We take on the responsibilities that may be below us. We do what needs to be done. We help those who need help.

Let’s take on a stance of humility.

We know we don’t have a long time on this planet. Even if you lived to be 100 years old, it is such a short time in the grand scheme of things.

Realize your frailness. Understand death will come for you. Plan for the future by looking for ways to grow the next generation of leaders. You will have to serve them and guide them as they grow. But what a legacy that will leave.

Another example of a humble leader is Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Rutte is known for riding his bike to work every day. He could drive a luxury vehicle to work yet he doesn’t. I often wonder if this is so he can be seen by the people, talk with them, and interact with them…

He also serves others by teaching in a school once a week. He leaves his office and goes to where he can serve. He helps students and shows them no matter what your title, you can serve others.

Or let’s take a look at the first female president of Malawi. Joyce Banda made a decision as she took office. Malawi was facing hard financial times.

What did she do? She chose to give up the privileges of being president. She did away with the presidential jet and approximately 60 Mercedes. This was all in an effort to fix the country’s financial position.

In the end, I know we can lead well while displaying humility. All it takes is thinking of ourselves less and thinking of others more.

What do you need to do to become a more humble leader?

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