Posts tagged humility

Global Leadership Summit Notes (Part II)

What a privilege to hear all these speakers from their different areas of expertise talk about leadership. Please see yesterday’s to see what else I learned all the while thinking about education and human trafficking in Kazakhstan.

V. Dr. Henry Cloud – The Wise, the Foolish, the Evil

Truth, what do they do with it?  Reality is different from the assumptions of leaders who think everyone is kind and responsible like them.  Diagnose who you are talking to. There are three categories of people:

1)   wise

2)   fools

3)   evil

For the wise, the light comes and they adjust their eyes to it, they actually adjust themselves when they hear truth.  They tweak the formula if they have to. When they hear criticism, they say thank you with a smile.  When a coach gives feedback they heed it.  Resource them and keep them appropriately challenged.

However, the fool instead adjusts the light, adjusts the truth and is angry when they hear criticism. They change the truth and deny reality.  They shoot the messenger.

There is hopelessness and they don’t own the problem, they blame someone else

“Do not confront or correct a fool, a mocker will hate you.”

With a fool, stop talking to them.  Stop the insanity

They have stopped the plan of your mission because they have an allergy to the reality

Don’t talk about problems with them.  Take your talk to the pattern.  You have to know how to give feedback and set your LIMITS to exposure of the problem in perception.  The leader must protect the vision or the culture of the team

Some fools are living for show or fear reasons

Ask them, “What are we doing if you keep this behavior up?”  There are consequences.

Fools do not change

Limit exposure, clear about consequences, give choice, follow through

Finally, evil people, they are bent on destruction

Reject a divisive person, flee after second warning.  Have nothing to do with them

You may need lawyers, guns (law enforcement to help intervene) and money to protect yourself from evil.

VI. John Dickson, Sydney, Australia

Numbers 12:3 – Moses wrote that he was the most humble man. The word Humility had a different meaning back when Moses wrote that than it does for us in contemporary society.

Humility means To hold power in service of others.  Humility makes the great even greater

Cultivate this in life, five things about humility

1)   common sense – none of us is an expert in everything – a true expert must know that what they don’t know far exceeds what they know in their subject. Must use Competency extrapolation.

2)   beautiful – Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008 was the one who climbed Mt. Everest, he built hospitals in Nepal.  He was being photographed by some admirers and some other climbers came along and didn’t know who he was so they straightened out his ice pick he was holding.  He said “thank you.” That was a beautiful expression of humility because of COURSE he knew how to hold a pick but didn’t let on.

3)   Generative – generates new knowledge.  Scientific revolution took off with the idea to test, retest, evaluate with colleagues.  Humility encouraged science. Low place is a place of learning

4)   Persuasive – “On Rhetoric” by Aristotle, he talked of logos, pathos and ethos.  Ethos is the character of a persuader.  Most believable because you have others’ best interests at heart if you have good character.

5)   Inspiring – Collins “Good to Great” – leaders maximize other peoples’ potential, the others are aloof and unapproachable.  Great leaders are approachable, they are humble and other aspire to be like them

Four tools of leadership

1)   ability

2)   authority

3)   character

4)   persuasion

We went through the cruciform of a change at Jesus death.  From the ancient times it was not cool to be humble but rather to be competent and arrogant.  After Jesus death there was a humility revolution.  Thus, when Moses said he was the most humble, it was self-effacing back in his time.  Now we would never admit that we are humble, it is a quality other’s see in us and want.

VII. Patrick (filled in for Howard Shultz from Starbucks) – he wrote “Getting Naked”

We need to be reminded, more than instructed

Ken Blanchard wrote about the power of vulnerability

Manifest humility by being vulnerable

We in the western world try to avoid suffering at all costs but this is counter-cultural to following Christ

Why is it so hard to be vulnerable? Fear of losing business or fear of rejection

“Enter the danger”  Improvisation like in tv show “Whose line is it anyway?”

360 feedback forms

1)   speak kind truth – terminal niceness – don’t be afraid of being rejected

2)   fear of being embarrassed – ask the dumb question, Celebrate our mistakes, acknowledge our humanity

3)   fear of feeling inferior

Do the dirty work, go the second mile service. What did Jesus do? he washed feet

Honoring your clients’ work

Vulnerability which breeds loyalty

Not easy, suffering pain

Answering the call

Don’t get rewarded

Do it anyway when NOT rewarded

VIII. Chasing Daylight – Erwin McManus, film maker, L.A. California

Read from Eccl. 1 – Meaningless…all is meaningless says the teacher (written by King Solomon)

McManus loves Solomon and his transparency when he says “There’s nothing new under the sun.” he doesn’t agree with Solomon though

Is. 43:18-19

There is a creative process.  God is an artist. We are part of the creative order if we are Christians.  All others who are not Christians along with the animals are the created order.

Creative order vs. created order

Some might say, “Let’s make history” and that you can do to leave your mark

Others might say “Let’s change history” which you can’t do unless you are an avowed revisionist

Let’s create the future, that is God’s arena

Evil men don’t ask permission to change the world

Good people sit back and wait for permission to save the world.

McManus was asked what art would look like after the post-modern world.

He replied, “Whatever we choose.”

Why wait for others to choose our future?  Why is Star Wars and Avatar beating out the Christians in art?

Focus on creating future God has in mind

We are to be cultivators of human talent, be a good steward of what we’ve been given

Acts 7

Shakespeare wrote “Others have greatness thrust upon them.”

In schools and life, the extraordinary is beaten out of us.  There are hidden talents

We can be the incubator for those who are creative.  Sometimes dreams are trapped in people’s souls

Human talent and the glory of God

You, even at your best, will never be intimidating to God.

The Christian world used to have the best poets

There is the false narrative

We need to reclaim truth telling power

Revival of great story telling

Truths lost in a bad story

We need to be cultivators of talent, narrators of humor, story, acknowledge the mosaic and the masterful. Do something NEW!!!

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Our Need for Humility

Yesterday we had four spontaneous guests over for lunch.  They didn’t seem to mind our leftovers of Mexican tacos and we enjoyed their company.  Two stayed until almost 5:00 o’clock which meant we had four hours to sort out Kazakhstan’s many virtues and vices.  The question had earlier been asked at the dinner table, “How can Kazakhstan improve its image to the rest of the world so that the tourism industry might flourish?”

This past week Ken and I proved there are many good restaurants which have a service mentality in place which hadn’t existéd fifteen years ago. That alone should help Kazakhstan’s tourism. We were hosted to Georgian food last Saturday night, then we went to a Thai place with friends from church last Sunday.  Then Ken and I were hosts to some American travellers at a Chinese restaurant, the following night we ate Japanese food close to our university.  Finally, on Friday night we went to a posh Italian place we don’t recommend because of the prices but we got our grocery shopping done at Ramstor.  Almaty is a very cosmopolitan place with the amalgamation of many countries and their respective ethnic foods.What does this have to do with humility and Kazakhstan’s tourism that languishes?  I believe after our discussion yesterday I had some ideas confirmed about Kazakh people which I already knew about.  First, the Kazakhs are very hospitable and gracious.  After having many travellers come through their land over the millineums, they know only too well how their land can be inhospitable, they know how to take care of their guests.   I know of many stories from when Stalin deported different ethnic groups to Kazakhstan and had them dumped out of railroad cars to fend for themselves.  The Kazakhs were noble enough to help the strangers in a foreign land.

Second, the Kazakhs are a tolerant and patient people.  They have had much wrong visited upon them and yet they appear forgiving.  One example our guests gave was what they experienced at a telecommunications place that had the latest gadgetry of taking a number and waiting.  Turns out that after an hour of waiting and seeing the numbers on the electronic board in the 500-600s, they were holding on to a tab that read 100.  Eventually they found out that the numbers weren’t correlating with what was on the screen.  All those who had already waited were put to the back of the line with getting new numbers.  One Russian appearing guy (or it could have been my American husband who craves for efficiency in this land) started railing against the establishment about this inequity.  He was served on the spot while our friends and other Kazakhs waited yet again for their turn.

Third, the Kazakhs put on a mask that is for the foreigner to see.  They let down their guard amongst those they trust but they do have a way of appearing one way to the outsider and yet another way to their own people.  The Kazakhs are also very Asian in wanting to save face.  I have examples of that but I’ll “save” it for another time. 

Finally, the Kazakhs should be proud of their traditions, their language, their long years of nomadic life.  An example our guests gave was the uncle of our Kazakh friend, who is VERY nationalistic.   I don’t think he was exhibiting false humility when he was astonished that his foreigner nephew wanted to go to a classical dombar and komiz concert.  The uncle was actually dumbfounded that a person outside his own Kazakh culture would even like that kind of music.  Perhaps the Soviets had done a thorough job of making the Kazakh people feel that anything of their song, dance or music was detestable and that only western classical music was superior.  In any case, I think that the colorful costumes, the traditions and the music could be the FIRST place Kazakhstan could start with promoting tourism, after showing they have the restaurants and hotels to serve them.  The Kazakh music and language would show off the soul of this nation, those traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation.

However, I’m reminded that there are many westernized professors on our campus who are puffed up with their knowledge in their particular specialities.  Some of these professors and administrators are from Third World countries that are not even proud of their own roots, noone is wanting to tour or visit their original country.  But if they are proud of their own roots, they care nothing for the improvement of the Kazakh students’ lot and the future of this grand country.

Many of the Kazakhstani students who come to our university are children of the “New Rich” who care nothing about learning but only want to show off that they are wealthy enough to afford our western education without having to go overseas.  Of course, the wealthiest DO send their children to Europe or North America for education.  So, the pride exists alongside the humility of the original Kazakh.  We are living in a paradox of a land which makes it difficult to promote tourism.  Essentially one should be proud of their roots and others from the outside should be curious enough to want to see or visit Kazakhstan

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