The challenges they had faced together had taught them humility— the need to subsume their individual egos for the sake of the boat as a whole— and humility was the common gateway through which they were able now to come together and begin to do what they had not been able to do before. Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (p. 241). Penguin Publishing Group.
This is the final reflection I will write about this wonderful book. In the end, for the boys in the boat, and for us in leadership in the church, it has to be about humility. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way, and continue to need to learn that lesson. We see over and over throughout Scripture that hard lesson learned, but not always: Moses, David, Peter, Paul…
Jim Collins reminds us that leadership is a combination of Personal Humility and Professional Will. This type of leader–Looks in the mirror to take responsibility, and Looks out the window to give credit. A poor leader does the opposite: blaming others for mistakes, and taking credit for anything that goes well.
Ego gets in the way so easily. Ego, driven by the shadow sides of our lives which we ignore or are closed off from, is very dangerous for ourselves and our church or organization. (On this point–get, read and work through Pete Scazzero’s new book The Emotionally Healthy Leader. Chapter 2 Face Your Shadow just might save you and your team).
At the end of the day–humility needs to be a chief characteristic of our lives.
Philippians 2: 3 Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 4 Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. 5 Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:
6 Though he was in the form of God,
he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
7 But he emptied himself
by taking the form of a slave
and by becoming like human beings.