Pride, I’ve come to believe, is the Achilles heel of the strong. The BTL leader builds real strength within and never stops building more. As they become stronger, smarter, and masters of their craft, they sandwich their strength with deep humility. Great leaders understand humility 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 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. Back in the day, 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, 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 core. Building humility requires the habit of looking in the mirror and seeing where you need to work on you. Building humility requires a few truth tellers with the courage to hold up a mirror and help you see what you cannot see a lone. 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. Normal ones do just the opposite. 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.
When was the last time you asked a truth teller to adjust your mirrors, so to speak? When was the last time you faced your own pride problem? Who needs your help building humility, 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. Embrace this pain and suffering. Remember, peace is found on the other side of acute pain. Fact. Together we transform. Always together. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…