One of the perks to staff meetings at a church vs. in the corporate world is leadership training is rooted in Biblical principles.
This past week our Executive Pastor asked us to read Philippians 2:1-4 and pull out which one part defines you as a team player.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
I picked humility.
For the last two years, it has been the trait I have worked the most on developing as a leader.
It’s hard. Sometimes I can be selfish. Sometimes I want things only my way.
This week someone asked me, “How do you work through a situation where everytime you present an idea, it’s turned down?”
That’s a great question, and I’ve yet to work somewhere I wasn’t faced with the situation on some level.
What I have learned over the last two years focused on humility when the situation presents itself is:
1. What did you not explain well?
Often, I forget how much research and background knowledge I have behind the projects or ideas I present that others may not have. When an idea I believe in fails, but I want to keep fighting for it, I now go back and ask myself how I can present it differently to address to objections.
2. Why is the other person reacting the way they are reacting?
One of the hardest things to realize is that while I am working on humility, so is everyone else I come in contact with. We are all selfish to a degree. Selfishness can create a fear. Fear of being seen as unintelligent. Fear of not being seen as the smartest person in the room. Fear of change. Fear of failure. You can’t change those people’s struggle, but you can figure out how to calm their fears. Pray for God to give you wisdom and guidance.
3. Who else can you involve in the conversation?
Sometimes it’s important to realize you can’t always see all sides when you’re in the middle of the problem. Find a mentor you trust to share your problem with and ask for guidance. Alternatively, find a neutral third party to sit down with you and the other person and talk through the idea.
4. What stream should you be swimming in?
Finally, I had a boss once tell me, “If you feel like you’re always swimming up stream, maybe you need to find a new stream to swim in.” There are times when God puts you in a place for a reason or a season, but then He needs you to move on. When you’re constantly having to fight for everything you know is right, and you’re not able to change things because of roadblocks, it might be time to change streams. There may be another place God needs you. Maybe He needs to move you so you can gain a new skill set, meet someone new, or share influence in a new circle.
What about you?
Which trait do you most identify with and/or are you working on the most? What advice do you have for others working on becoming humble?