Friday, 15 August 2014

HUMILITY: A RARE TRAIT OF LEADERS

Photo Credit: faithgateway.com


What most people don’t know is that humanity or humaneness is not humility.  The fact that you are benevolent or compassionate towards others doesn’t in any way suggest you are humble. This is because you might just be taking advantage of your benevolence just to show off. However, humble people easily share.
Humility is a rare character in this machismo world where everyone wants to show off his/her ability to manipulate everything and everyone around him/her. Nevertheless, being humble is not about being coward and kowtowing at the whims of everyone around. Neither is it being at the beck and call of anyone whom you believe is superior. The average leader is expected to be rugged, aggressive, courageous; maybe assertive, and a no-nonsense type, but humility is also indispensable.
Many leaders see themselves far superior and as demigods who are worthy of worship by all and sundry. Contrary, a great leader is one who knows who he is in the sight of God. He doesn’t consider him or herself less or more than what God has made him or her to be. Humble leaders know their place in the eyes of God and others. They are those who are consistently acknowledging God for their blessings and others for their successes. Humility is not denying or devaluing your strengths but a genuine and consistent acknowledgement of your weaknesses and asking for help when you need one. A humble leader knows where he/she is strong and where he/she is not. There is no better advice than what is found in Philippians 2:3 of the Holy Bible, it says, Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Another version put it this way: “Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.”
Humble leadership is demonstrated in so many ways. Key among the traits of a humble leader is his or her detestation of drawing attention to only him or herself. Humble leaders remain comfortable and confident even when others around them succeed. Great leaders allow their achievements to speak for themselves rather than draw attention to their status and strength. Every leader need to understand that greatness is not just in showing off his or her abilities but rather daily acknowledging the contribution of others to his or her success story.
With a little dose of humility, a leader will welcome constructive criticism and make amends because ceaselessly they understand their need for such criticism; after all we all have some weaknesses.
God’s Word translation of the Holy Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “People should be concerned about others and not just about themselves.” This is one of the greatest traits of humble leaders. They are ever willing to celebrate the successes or breakthrough of others since the personal success of their team members mean so much to them. Humble leaders don’t see the growth of others as a threat.
Leaders with big hearts see the successes of others as an added advantage to their organizations, ministries or life. They find it necessary to invest or prepare others for success. Rather do everything; leaders with humility choose to give others the platform to shine and they have no fear in taking such a step.
C. S. Lewis says: “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” Pride comes when we are rewarded, recognized and get all famous for our achievements. But self-conceit or pride comes before a fall. Humility is the cure for pride.
Many cannot handle big-time successes especially those who don’t believe in God. That is the case because they seem not to get anyone far superior to themselves to pass on the ‘glory’ to. As a result their successes become a trap unto them, choking them unto failure.  
If you develop the habit of giving honour to whom honour is due, success will not affect you negatively. Giving people who matter the necessary recognition due them is the only antidote to loftiness. God gives grace to the humble but the proud he brings down. Daily giving God credit for his manifold blessing and publicly appreciating others for their contribution and place in your success story naturally provides room for more growth. It is so because it makes you feel like you haven’t arrived yet. Such a habit can psych you up to pursue greater heights.
Pride that gets into the head can be very destructive. Swollen headedness can also slow you down; it can be a weight that militates against chalking up other successes. Remember success is not just a one-time thing but something that happens over and over again, and pride will not make you win always!
Copyright © 2014, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

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