Whether Democrat or Republican, our political leaders (and many other leaders) have one thing in common—they rarely admit mistakes. Just once I would like for a political leader to say, “It was my fault.” “I spoke in error.” “I’m sorry.” “I made a mistake.” “I was wrong.” “I need your help.”
Even when caught in wrong doing, the strategy is either “deny, deny, deny” or “blame it on someone else.” Unfortunately, an underling often becomes the sacrificial lamb for the leader and the cause.
Some leaders have a misconception that to show strength, you never admit weakness or wrong doing. They project an image there is no one who can do this job as well as they can. The leader is an invincible knight in shining armor. Of course, we all know that is a crock. None of us are perfect. We all need help. We might be good at a few things, but we’re not good at everything. Humility among our leaders would be refreshing.
What prevents us from admitting our mistakes and weaknesses? What keeps us from being open and transparent? We discuss this in our course, Lead Like Jesus. Blanchard and Hodges calls it Edging God Out or EGO. When we worship someone other than God, when our source of security and self-worth is based on someone other than God, when our audience and authority is someone other than God, we Edge God Out. Our EGO expresses itself through either pride or fear. Pride promotes self. Fear protects self. Edging God Out always separates us from God, others, and ourselves. Edging God Out always compares us with others and is never happy. Edging God out always distorts the truth into a false sense of security or fear. EGO is self-serving. (Blanchard and Hodges, Lead Like Jesus, page 49).
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is not thinking of your “self,” your ego at all. Jesus taught to be a great leader you had to become a servant.
But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, NET)
Servant Leaders serve people and the mission of the organization, they are not self-serving. Instead of asking people to die for him, Jesus died for us.
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