One of my favorite BTL practices I lead is based on today’s topic, praus.
Praus is a Greek word that translates as meek or gentle. A word study, however, reveals a much richer meaning of praus than our Western mindset applies. Praus means “properly temperate, displaying the right blend of force and reserve (gentleness); strength in gentleness; avoids unnecessary harshness, yet without compromising or being too slow to use necessary force.”
The word praus refers to a powerful war horse submitting to its master after much training, such that it did not need to be tethered but stood ready for action at any time at his command. To its master, the horse was not praus until it demonstrated this critical trait.
In other words, it described power under control or power under submission to a higher power.
This concept would have been quite familiar to Jesus’ hearers in that culture of Roman rule:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle (praus) and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
My worldview directs me to regard praus as living in trusting submission to my Commander in Chief while being fully who He created and gifted me to be, with my abilities and strengths ready to be deployed in action. Power under control. Self-controlling and other-centered. So I can be all-in living my OPUS. It’s a process and I am still a WIP, however I am getting closer to becoming praus the more I work on my Core.
So, what does praus mean for us as leaders and for our teams? Are you living fully into your strengths and giftedness in your role? Do you feel empowered…untethered…to use your strengths? And are you using your gifts for a purpose bigger than you? Or are you playing small ball, holding back your best? Why?
The culture of great teams embodies praus. As Chet shares it takes praus to discuss the right things, at the right time, with the right people in the right way. Power under control.
Does your team feel empowered to use their strengths in their roles? Are they ready to be untethered?