A Humble Leader
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
Jesus modeled humble leadership. There were no airs—pretension was absent from His personality. Christ could be gentle and aggressive at the same time. He led, but he led with sensitivity and prayerful obedience to His heavenly Father. A humble leader refrains from public pomp and defers to a modest manner. Humble led is humble bred.
A humble leader does not get too far ahead of his followers. Indeed, he takes the time to get them up to speed. He makes sure there is understanding of the overall goals of the organization. He provides the teaching, training, and coaching necessary for the team to serve with excellence. He or she sets a high standard of character with their own example, but they are patient to work with people at all levels of maturity.
A humble leader is not afraid to make the hard calls when necessary. He will not tolerate pride of leadership. He loathes leaders who blame others for not meeting objectives. Prideful leaders are demoralizing rather than inspiring. They sap the energy of the team instead of energizing the team. Their own demons of insecurity ooze into the work culture like an infected sore. They are unhealthy and contagious. Pride led is pride bred.
A humble leader provides loving accountability. He inspects what he expects. This accountability results in encouragement and progress. Humble leadership cares enough to take the time and make sure the team understands. He or she avoids irresponsible assumptions that create false expectations and unrealistic goals that only frustrate. Indeed, wise leadership starts with humility that leads to service.
Humble leaders use their position as a platform for service. The team is not there to serve the leader—there is a much bigger motivation. The larger priority is the mission and vision of the organization. For the follower of Christ the ultimate motivation is “to work as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). This one compelling desire will fuel the fires of excellence. So, the humble leader looks for opportunities to serve the needs of his team.
Perhaps, you make a phone call on behalf of a team member or take them to lunch and listen to their heart. It may be a bonus or a day off for a job well done. These are acts of service that are other-centered and unexpected. Humble leaders will not be out served. So, by God’s grace stay humble and serve the team for His glory. They will follow you wherever He leads. Indeed, humble leaders look to serve—humble led is humble bred.
“He [Jesus] poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:5).
Prayer: How can I humbly serve my family and work associates?
Related Readings: Exodus 10:3; 2 Chronicles 36:12; Psalm 147:6; Luke 14:11