Eve Annunziato

My Leadership Crush Part 2 June 2, 2008

Filed under: Leadership — Eve Annunziato @ 1:03 am

Last week I made a public confession. I have a major crush; an affinity and admiration for any leader who possesses the virtue of humility – a rare find and not a feature I personally possess. I am drawn to people with authentic humility (aren’t we all) and I constantly aspire to embrace and acquire more of it as I grow as a leader.

The bible, what I consider the best-written guide for teaching and strengthening your leadership skills, puts it this way:

First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. Proverbs 16:18 (The Message)

Leading a flock has a way of exposing the flaws of our own personal vanity. But learning the lesson that, “pride goes before destruction” can be a revolutionary discovery. If we can adopt a teachable spirit, we can begin to shift our management focus away from exalting our own successes, importance, accomplishments (or however we refer to our self promotion and security boosts). Trust me, everyone else embraces, expects, and celebrates your individual and unique gifts and skills. It’s why you are where you are and do what you do! I’ve learned (the hard way, of course) intentionally elevating team members channels motivation, confidence and wisdom to others. Promoting our own significance leads to stumbling.

“Focusing on glorifying God and meeting the needs of others gives us the perspective of the wise.” Dennis Fisher  Currently, we’re reading the C.S. Lewis Narnia Chronicles with my son, an allegory full of symbolism and positive life lessons. While focusing my effort to “teach” my 8-year old about effective human behavior, I myself am unpacking a ton. In “The Horse And His Boy” I was once again reminded of this illusion of arrogance. Bree, the intelligent horse, is condescending toward the main character, the young boy Shasta. Bree considers Shasta a “foul” and underprivileged kid well beneath himself. This self-proclaimed war-horse with great skill and courage gallops with conceit. Yet, when Bree hears the strong roar of the notable lion, Aslan, (considered the Christ character) he runs for the hills out of panic and ignorance. The horse was frightened and his failure, he soon admits, was a humbling experience. Yet Shasta, unafraid and in his unassuming fashion, proves his faith and courage therefore earning the respect of the tribe.

Proverbs advises that when pride comes, shame follows; yet when humility comes, wisdom follows. That’s the path I’m striving, earnestly, to pursue during my leadership trek.



7 Responses to “My Leadership Crush Part 2”

  1. Great points, Eve. The effective leader focuses on leading rather than promoting his/herself. It can be easy to forget that in positions of power. Good reminder to all…

  2. Julian Says:

    Great thoughts. I think that nearly all leaders struggle with staying humble. Not allowing success to distract us from our initial calling and vision takes hard work. If you are only in it for your glory then you will not be able to maintain your leadership for the long haul – and God needs leaders who are building for a lifetime, not for a moment.

  3. Great point, Julian. Humility is vital in order to sustain leadership long term. Thanks for your response.

  4. fullofboys Says:

    Great reminder Eve. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in ‘doing it all myself to make sure it gets done’, that I forget that it is not about me at all! I think that humility draws people to leaders. It is easier to be led by someone who can admit their strengths AND their weaknesses than by someone who controls everything and gives no mind to the people serving with them.

  5. Very true, Jenn. I would much rather follow a person who can admit he/she doesn’t know it all. After all, learning and growing together is what teamwork is all about! Thanks for your input!!

  6. Lori K Says:

    Wow – I’m going to try to put this post into terms that my kids will understand. What a great and valuable lesson for them, as well as for me! Humility is a tough value to teach in this world full of “me, me, me”.

    Eve, you always have the best and most thought-provoking posts. Thanks!

  7. Thanks, Lori. And, you make an excellent point. You’re never too young to learn this lesson (wish someone would have taken me aside a time or two way back when!). Appreciate your response.

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