The Leader as Student
What is the quickest way to remain humble and growing as a leader? Remind yourself that you're a student.
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning."
As a leader, I have had a hard time balancing humility with confidence to take charge and proceed with responsibility for outcomes and development.
After all, I need to show up, so I need to take charge and be ready to stand out in front.
But for me, that can lead to a lack of humility. I have to put my cape on and perform.
So when I received feedback that I do more talking than listening, I knew I wasn't operating in a leadership approach that modeled Jesus. I knew that was making my team feel devalued.
I'm a pretty black and white person. I don't live in the gray. I know it's there, I do, but it isn't my natural state, so I have to work intentionally to grasp concepts that differ from what is ingrained in my thoughts.
As I prayed about how to tackle humility to listen better and not feel that leading meant I had to harbor the sole responsibility of ideas and ways forward, I realized the simplest way to do this was to remain a student before my people.
This one switch in thinking has been a great impact. Instead of telling myself a narrative that it's all on my shoulders to lead helpless people (i.e. making an idol of myself), I told myself that my role was to listen and filter. Actively listen. Ask questions. Make sure I got it. Then filter what was best with input.
I didn't have to have all of the answers.
I only needed to have the humility to posture myself as a student who is growing and learning.
And the added benefit? It removed a burden that Jesus never intended for me to carry. He didn't appoint me to any leadership role because He needed me. He appointed me so that I could be a vessel. A steward of the people and their ideas to move the organization forward.
What a relief.