We tend to despise pride in others and we recognize its destructive power. The Scripture teaches us that pride goes before destruction and haughty eyes before a fall. We long to serve with leaders who are humble, and we are wise to walk in humility ourselves. But what does humility in leadership look like? Here are three marks:
1. Attitude of gratitude, not entitlement
Leaders can move from gratitude to entitlement by believing their position or their performance entitles them to certain things. It is impossible to be filled with humility and a sense of entitlement at the same time. Whenever we feel we are owed something it is because we have forgotten that God is the One who gives all good things. Humble leaders believe all they have received is from the Lord, including the team they lead and their work ethic and intensity. All is from Him. When we walk in humility, we are grateful for all He provides.
2. Posture of stewardship, not ownership
Though some don’t recognize it, all leaders are temporary. Because leadership is a temporary assignment, humble leaders treat their roles and their organizations or ministries as something they steward not something they own. They know the Lord ultimately owns it all and they make decisions from the posture of a faithful steward not the posture of an owner who will always sit in the chair of leadership. Humble leaders desire to steward the season well and humbly recognize the season won’t last forever.
3. Trust in the Lord, not in oneself
Humble leaders trust the Lord and not themselves. Humble leaders seek His wisdom, not their own. They lead in His energy, not their own. They trust His leading, not their own. Their confidence resides ultimately in the Lord and not in themselves.