Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Effective Leadership Requires Humility

Effective leadership requires humility (James 1:9; 1 Pt 5:6). A leader with a humble heart demonstrates a discerning, hearing heart[1] as illustrated by Solomon’s request upon becoming king of Israel (1 Kings 3:8). 

The person with a discerning and hearing heart submits to and obeys the indwelling Holy Spirit residing in believers in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:11, 15:13). The Holy Spirit provides specific and general guidance with the humble leader through various modes such as promptings, circumstances, and other people.

Pride, arrogance, greed (2 Tim 3:1–5), complacency, and fruit of the flesh (Gal 5:19–21) contradict God. Leaders who demonstrate these qualities possess inaccurate hearing and discernment. 

These self-centered attributes increase leaders’ desires to speak instead of Christo-centrically listening to God and humans, as well as accurately evaluating messages within their proper contexts.

The heart humble before Christ (1 Pt 5:6) fully pursues God, who releases everything, in all dimensions, congruent with His will (Mt 6:33). Acknowledging and praising Christ, who possesses the entirety of creation and eternity, assures that one’s heart remains in Him (Lk 12:34).

Love-derived praise and obedience to Christ directs the synchronous leading of those whom God assigns to the leader to guide (Mt 22:37–40). The leader’s effectiveness highly correlates with receiving and activating the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22–23). 

The antithesis of effective leadership is the fruit of the flesh (Gal 5:19–21), leading others to darkness (Prov. 1:8–19) instead of to the light of Christ.   


The person with prudence seeks the proper context of messages to assure accurate discernment. Social media posts reflect microcosms of leadership and society, including the inaccurate responses because of improperly defining the context. 

For example, social media posters highly criticized the blank facial expression of Eli Manning, the younger brother of Denver Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning, following Denver’s touchdown near the end of Super Bowl 50. 

The criticizers accused Eli of being jealous of Peyton, since a Denver win would enable Peyton to match Eli’s two Super Bowl victories as quarterback of the New York Giants.[2]

Yet Eli said people misread him; he was wondering only whether Denver should go for the two-point conversion. The criticism and conviction arose from arrogance, pride, and complacency preventing viewers and listeners from considering all factors to attain the situation’s full context.

Humility-derived submission, obedience, acknowledgement and praise of Jesus Christ directs one’s relationships with those whom God assigns us through His word and His will. 

Effective leadership requires humility, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to synchronously lead and serve God’s people with effective listening, discernment and seeking the proper context to always serve and glorify God. 

Therefore, the effective leader—individually and within the organization—creates and encourages a culture of humility before God. The effective knows the purpose of hearing and obeying is to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Thomas L. Constable, “1 Kings,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 494.
[2] O'Leary, Daniel. Eli on Super Bowl face: I was thinking about going for two MSN Sports.
February 09, 2016. http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl (accessed February 09, 2016).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How Do You Avoid False Assumptions?

Last October I rode from the MSP airport to the Twin Cities Marathon's host hotel with several other runners. One, who for many years greeted the winners at Boston, told of an instance when a runner's sore foot led to discovering a nutrient deficiency affecting their kidney (I believe).

Similarly, this morning I visited with a former D-I weight coach who told of someone whose weak right hip-flexor resulted in problems with their left Achilles.

These examples remind me the cause of pain (incl. life challenges) often differs from the source of the pain.

Would you agree with Teddy Roosevelt (paraphrase), one usually benefits in life by asking questions instead of making presumptive statements?

Avoid false assumptions. Inquisitively consider as many factors as possible, searching to see the whole picture.