Servant leaders can enhance their relationships by choosing to model the behaviors of love outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. The third behavior mentioned is humility.
Humility is being authentic and without pretense or arrogance. Humility is not an attribute that normally comes naturally for a leader, but is critically important in developing solid, enduring relationships with your people.
I feel that humility is the foundation of servant leadership. It means that you put others first, above yourself on a consistent basis. It means that you remove the status and personal gains from what you do as a leader, and begin to look primarily at what you accomplish in the lives of those you work with.
Being humble as a leader comes also when you fully acknowledge that any accomplishment or positive change comes about through those that you lead, and without them you are nothing.
I was blessed in my life to have the opportunity to work for a truly humble leader during my time at the Banta Corporation. Ron was clearly never out for himself and would always focus on the team and build others up. He would do anything personally or professionally to help his people achieve their dreams, and there was nothing that excited him more than seeing his people succeed in their life pursuits. It was amazing what we accomplished under his leadership.
Specific ways to show humility as a leader would include:
- Appreciate what you have and what you have been given
- Accept responsibility and never make excuses
- Be willing to surround yourself with talented people
- Challenge, give guidance, and allow your people to be in control of the goal
- Want, ask, and value others opinion often
- Be willing to help others at all times
Challenge yourself to be intentional about focusing on human relationships and how you can add value to others. Staying humble will add significance to your leadership and life.