Iron Humility

I heard a sermon a few weeks ago that made me think about Collins’ Level 5 Leader as described in his book Good to Great. To paraphrase him, the best leaders have melded an iron will with a genuine humility. These attributes are often strange bedfellows. Neither can be faked nor even consciously considered, lest they become false.

The interesting twist I heard is this: A true leader does not think more of himself or less of himself. He just doesn’t think of himself. He does not look for credit but does not shy away from it. He just doesn’t think about credit.   We could all be reminded from time to time that self and credit have little place in leadership.  Most of all, self credit.

Maybe You’re Just Wrong…

After the elections the President stated that obviously he did not communicate his positions well enough and that is the reason for the results. Regardless of one’s political leanings, you have to be amazed at the response. It obviously hasn’t occurred to him yet that maybe people heard him and disagreed with him. After all, even his enemies agree that he is a great communicator.

There is a leadership lesson in this for all of us. If we have trouble leading folks, maybe we are just plain wrong. It happens. The implication otherwise is that everyone of our followers is not smart enough to understand, or at least need to be told in a different way. What folly this is. If people resist, the first failure mode, the first consideration should be “have I got this wrong?”