A theme can bring energy and passion to your annual goals. A theme also provides a summary that encapsulates everything that you are going to do and be about in a particular year or for your whole life. A few years ago, I used the theme of “Be Humble and Hungry” as my theme for the year. I also often text this to the people I coach in sports, business, and life.
As a competitor, it is often a fine line to walk between being humble versus being self-confident bordering on arrogance. Your competitiveness and drive give you your edge to succeed, but you don’t want that to tip to arrogance and pride where falls and paths to destruction often occur. As a leader, you need to command the respect of your people and that is often seen as competence and mastery, but you don’t want to come across as a “know-it-all” and someone who is not open to ideas and input from others.
Humility and vulnerability are words not often associated with the best competitors; yet, they are essential components of the character of champions. Specifically, there are 3 aspects of humility that champions embrace on their leadership journey and allow them to separate from the rest of the field:
- The Definition of Humility – C. S. Lewis defined it this way: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” In all my endeavors, I want to engage and fully utilize my God-given strengths, talents, and passions to maximize the opportunities within my sphere of influence. I believe that is what fulfilling your purpose is all about. As you consider your strengths, talents, gifts, passions, opportunities, and sphere of influence, I encourage and challenge you to fully embrace them in a way that makes a positive impact on others vs solely promoting yourself.
- The Spirit of Humility – Humility also demands a spirit and attitude of gratefulness. It means to accept opportunities with enthusiasm and be appreciative of all that God brings your way. There are many things that have happened in my life that can only be explained through the power and presence of God in my life. My faith provides the main foundation for my life and is the cornerstone for everything that I do. I thank God for this moment called my life, and I want to make it count. Having a spirit of gratefulness allows you to enjoy the journey. When you are grateful for what you have, you are more generous to offer what people need.
- The Product of Humility – Finally, humility promotes and produces a pursuit of excellence in all that we do. If you are appreciative of the moments in your life, you will do all that you can to excel and do your best knowing that not everyone receives an opportunity to do what you are uniquely gifted to do. You will lead more effectively serving the needs of others in the process. You will pursue your goals more passionately knowing that the outcome is worth the journey, and you will do it in a way that leads to impact in the lives of the people you lead and influence. In essence, the more humble and appreciative you are, the better you will embrace your role and carry out your responsibilities! That’s the way that I feel about my work and my life.
Humility is not cowering low; it is charging forth with the right attitude and actions toward a mountaintop of opportunities and moments to make a positive difference and accomplish meaningful work! Living a life of humility is all about serving the needs of the people who are in your story with the unique talents and opportunities that are in your journey.
If you want to develop more as a leader who humbly serves the needs of others, connects with people, develops other leaders, and makes a positive impact within their sphere of influence, check out our Invisible Hand of Leadership© Program.
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