A New Definition of Humility
Today's theme is humility. We looked up synonyms of the word and weren't impressed by the results: shyness, lowliness, obedience, self-abasement. This is not what we think of when we think of the humble leader. Last week Pope Francis, on his knees, washed and kissed the feet of Muslim migrants. Prior to January of this year, women and non-Catholics were not allowed to be included in this rite. In a bold move, Pope Francis modified the rite to be inclusive of all people. We think that changing an institutional norm that has been in place for hundreds of years is the opposite of lowliness and obedience. We think it takes incredible strength.
"Be like a bamboo. The higher you grow, the deeper you bow." –Chinese Proverb
As leaders, we can feel trapped by organizational norms that have preceded our tenure. It takes a great degree of courage to stand up for change and disrupt the status quo. If you have been reflecting on a norm that needs to be changed, challenge yourself to take action. Ensure your suggested change is one that benefits others, not yourself. Then, with humility and strength, step up and be leader you want to be
Want to practice service and humility? Offer to wash the feet of a loved one. It's easy! Pour a hot tub of water, add a couple drops of essential oils (we like bergamot and lemon) and have some Epsom salts nearby. Get down on your knees and scrub the salts over the feet. We are willing to bet this practice will bring you closer to your spouse, your child, your parent or your friend. Do we recommend you do this for people at your office? Well...we think there are better ways to show your humility to your team. How about admitting when you're wrong, asking for help or expressing admiration? Remember: there's strength in humility.