Pride, I’ve come to believe, is The Achilles heel of the strong. The BTL leader builds real strength and never ceases in their quest for more. And, as they become stronger, smarter, and masters of their craft, they sandwich their strength and ever increasing strength of their team with the practice of deep seated humility. Great leaders understand humility has gotta be the bookends that holds them and their teams together. Humility constrains. Humility calms. Humility keeps us looking up; down, not so much. Humility sustains high performers. Study history, you’ll see.
Great leaders couple great strength with the practice of humility. They see the seeds of pride, arrogance, and outa control hubris before the world does. These leaders fall to their knees and look up gratefully, thankfully, and most importantly, humbly for perspective. This is very difficult when you’re winning, basking in the glory, and being praised as the one most responsible for this season of surplus. It is hard to be humble when you’ve not been humbled…
George Washington was twice offered dictatorial powers in America’s infancy. He declined both times. His practice of humility saved our nation from simply going from one King George to another. In January 1800, a month after GW’s death, Henry Holcombe paid tribute to Washington in a sermon that became known throughout the land, according to David Bobb in his book simply titled, Humility. “His boldness and magnanimity,” Holcombe said, were “equaled by nothing but his modesty and humility.”
Build strength, my leader. And, bookend your strength with deep seated humility. Strength and humility, please. This is why at BTL we have building humility as the second essential immediately following building your strong CORE. I hope you now know a bit more around why. And, I hope you’re getting comfortable with your mirror.
Yesterday, toward the end of practice 37 with a team of productive rebels, a teammate was told he needs to care more about what other people think. He’s fairly strong, or so he projects, and has developed a hard exterior. He is his own man, I heard, and doesn’t really care so much what others think. This could be a virtuous character trait – could be. My sense was that it’s not in his case. His teammates were trying to get him to look in the mirror and see his pride and dismissive character. I’m not sure he saw his pride and I’m not sure his teammate was willing to keep holding up the heavy mirror.
It’s hard to see your own pride, friend. It’s really hard to hold up a mirror and help a teammate see theirs. It hurts to help. Great leaders look in the mirror, remember, to face their own problems and look out the window to give credit to others. Great builders hold up a mirror and help a teammate see theirs. Great builders care enough to endure the acute pain that comes when illuminating the blind spot of another. You see, friend, they’ve come to understand – it hurts to help.
Who needs your help, leader? What’s stopping you from being their mirror? It’s only gonna hurt for a short while. Go on. It hurts to help. It hurts acutely. It hurts to heal. Good…