Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 2 (Strategic Christian Leadership #75)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 75. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Our quote for this episode is from Stephen Covey, who said, “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 2 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

The Aspirational Effect

Why does humility in the leader inspire others to perform their best for the company? Collins doesn’t offer a clear answer, but I think there are several reasons. The first is the simple observation made in the previous chapter: humility is persuasive. People find themselves trusting the decisions and arguments of someone who puts others before themselves.

Second, humility in the leader orients everyone in the team toward achieving the organization’s key objectives. When employees suspect the leader is in it for himself, they lose motivation or, worse, start imitating him and looking for what they themselves can squeeze out of the organization. This is much harder to get away with when everyone knows that the people at the top are striving for the company goal, not personal glory.

The third reason is that the humble leader gives the real impression that she is a “normal person”. The aloof, unapproachable leader seems an alien creature. She is revered and spoken of in hushed tones, but she is not emulated because her achievements seem unreachable. By contrast, the executive who chats to employees, seeks their advice, freely pays compliments and does what she can to ensure workers’ needs are cared for—as well as kicking spectacular corporate goals—is far more likely to seem “real” and become an object of emulation, not just admiration. Employees start to like what they see of leadership and begin to believe that they too could one day move toward greater responsibility within the organization. This aspirational effect is a key to humility’s power to inspire.

The fourth and final reason I can think of for humility’s inspirational effect on an organization is that it fosters loyalty toward the leader. Every leader knows that the loyalty of the team can be every bit as important as the loyalty of consumers. It minimizes unhelpful internal criticism, maximizes staff motivation and resilience and leads to lower staff turnover rates.

A similar answer to the question of why humility inspires was given by Jim Wallace, mentioned at the outset of the chapter. Brigadier Wallace started out as a captain in the elite Special Air Service. Some of the stories he tells of SAS training and missions seem straight out of the movies. He moved up through the ranks until he was the commander of the SAS and then commander of all Special Forces in Australia. I recently asked him for his thoughts on leadership after decades in the armed forces. He replied:

Most people want to be led, and there is therefore a natural momentum in favour of the leader. But what continually gets in the way is ego. Where we can’t control that, suppress it, then people quickly realise it’s about us, and any natural advantage fades and leadership becomes hard work. The real power of effective leadership is maximising other people’s potential, which inevitably demands also ensuring that they get the credit. When our ego won’t let us build another person up, when everything has to build us up, then the effectiveness of the organisation reverts to depending instead on how good we are in the technical aspects of what we do. And we have stopped leading and inspiring others to great heights.

“Leading and inspiring others to great heights,” says Wallace, come through humility. That’s not exactly his word, but it is what he means. The inspiring leader must control his ego and throw his energies into “maximising other people’s potential” and “ensuring that they get the credit”. When leadership is about us, the organization reverts to mere operational expertise because people stop believing in the goal. The whole is reduced to the sum of its parts. Conversely, where the leader throws his energy into the organization and its aims, he experiences that “natural momentum in favour of the leader” that Wallace speaks of.



If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s