words by: Kevin Bille
Hey what’s the good word! What is humility? How does it apply to our everyday lives?
Humility. This is something I really admire in other people. I will be very transparent in telling you that I have struggled with this value over the years, and it does not come easy for me unless I’m intentional about it.
Unfortunately, being competitive and wanting to be right have a lot to do with that. But, then again, I’m sure plenty of you would rather be right than wrong. In that lies a balance of understanding what you’re good at and also being willing to acknowledge where you need help.
To begin with, I always am reminded of the C.S. Lewis quote when it comes to this value: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” The essence of this is embodied in what I shared last month: God and others before myself. Putting others first is a skill, and the best leaders I have been around are able to do this.
I’ve come to respect the fact that practicing humility is a key component of leadership. Humility is not a virtue that stands on its own, however. Just as pride and foolishness are twin virtues, humility and wisdom are likewise linked. Think about it: when you are proud, you will make many foolish mistakes. But the more humble you are, the wiser you will be.
People with humility stand out to me in other areas as well. First, they are situationally aware. They focus outward as they try to learn more about situations. Next, they are curious. Humble people seek knowledge because they have a thirst to grow and learn, but they also realize that they don’t have all the answers. They are willing to accept feedback from others. Humble people are not only receptive to constructive criticism, but they also actively seek out constructive criticism because they know that feedback is a pathway to improvement. The proud person tries to stand on their own, but the humble person sees the value in listening to others. Lastly, they assume responsibility. Rather than placing the blame on others, a humble person assumes responsibility by speaking up and owning his part. Instead of blaming others and pointing his finger at them, a humble person realizes his own faults, points his thumb at himself, and says, “this was my fault.”
Personally, I’m humbled EVERY day now when I go home, especially since two of our three kids are 13 and 11 years old. In their eyes, Dad isn’t the smartest guy out there last time I checked. But that’s ok if you have people in your life to keep you grounded with this. Part of being humble means realizing that you don’t have all the answers. No one does.
So, ask yourself this: what is one specific thing I can do to display more humility? Take time to serve someone else. When you’re wrong, be willing to admit your mistakes. When you see a friend or neighbor succeed, congratulate them on their success. Listen more to others and talk less about yourself. Doing this will be fulfilling for you, as well as bring you a sense of value and self-worth.
Now that’s GOOD STUFF!
Reach out to Kevin Bille anytime with your thoughts by emailing him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch interview’s at Kevin’s Youtube Channel