Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit :: John Dickson #wcagls

Are prestigious titles and powerful positions prerequisites for impactful leadership? “You don’t need structural authority to be a leader of influence,” according to historian and social commentator John Dickson. “The leader’s strongest tool is humility,” he says. “It intensifies credibility.” Dickson, the author of Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership (May 2011), investigates the crucial role humility plays in a leader’s life—and its theological, historical, and practical implications. Dickson issues this challenge: Navigate the complex intersection of leadership and humility, and learn to lead through persuasion, example, and influence rather than positional authority. Dickson offers practices to help you cultivate deeper authentic humility on your team—and in your soul.

  • I know what is going through your mind. “Is this guy really the expert on humility? If that is the case, then he most certainly is not humble. And if he isn’t humble, why is he talking to us about humility?” haha.
  • Definition of humility – Humility is not humiliation. Even though they both come from the same root.
    • The noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself.
    • Humility is to hold your power in service of others.
  • Humility makes the great, greater.
  • 5 reasons for cultivating humility in your personal life and your work.
    • Humility is common sense.
      • None of us is an expert at everything. What we collectively don’t know and can’t do far exceeds what we can do.
      • Expertise in one area counts for very little in another.
      • A true expert should know this better than anyone.
      • The expert must know that what he or she doesn’t know far exceeds what they do know.
      • The alternative is competency extrapolation. The transfer of one area to another without knowing much about that area.
      • Pastors can misapply the Bible to an area that is way outside of their expertise.
      • To preach well to my church I have to listen to the wisdom that is sitting in the pews.
    • Humility is beautiful.
      • We are more attracted to the great who are humble, than to the great who know it and want us to know it too.
      • Humility has not always been regarded as beautiful.
      • In ancient rome humility was actually associated with defeat. One of the virtues was the love of honor.
      • How have we now in western culture come to prize humility and despise honor-seeking?
    • Humility is compelling.
      • A humility revolution took place in the middle of the first century, with the teacher from Nazareth, who taught incredible things. It was Jesus’ actual crucifixion that changed the way ancient people thought about humility and greatness. Crucifixion was the ultimate punishment.
      • The cross of Jesus posed a massive problem to the first Christians. If the greatest man we have ever known willingly sacrificed his life on a cross, the innocent for the guilty, then greatness must consist in willing sacrifice, in holding power for the good of others.
      • Consider others better than yourselves.
      • Our culture has been massively influenced by the event of the crucifixion.
      • Our culture remains profoundly cruciform.
      • The humble place is the place of growth. Even if it is accidental humility.
      • Sometimes it is in the lowest, dirtiest place that you can learn the most. It is the place of flourishing.
      • Sometimes it is the confrontation at work and you back down.
      • Accurate criticism is your best friend.
    • Humility is persuasive.
      • There must be logos, pathos, and ethos.
      • Ethos, the character of the persuader, is the most significant component of persuasion.
      • The most believable person in the world is the person you know has your best interests in their heart.
    • Humility is inspiring.
      • How does humility inspire?
      • When leaders appear aloof and unapproachable, we admire them, but we don’t emulate them. Because we don’t think we can be like them.
      • But when they are approachable, we aspire to be like them.
      • Leaders have ability, authority, character, persuasion.
      • Some of the most inspiring leaders in history had no structural authority. They just had truckloads of authority, character, ability, and persuasion.

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