Tag Archives: Humility

make a difference today

The “Indispensable Man” by Saxon White Kessinger from John Maxwell’s book Talent is Never enough.


Sometime when you feel important;

    Sometime when your ego’s in bloom

Sometime when you take it for granted

  You’re the best qualified in the room,


Sometime when you feel that your going

   Would leave an unfillable hole,

Just follow these simple instructions

  And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,

  Put your hand in it up to the wrist,

Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining

   Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.


You can splash all you wish when you enter,

   You may stir up the water galore,

But stop and you’ll find that in no time

   It looks quite the same as before.


The moral of this quaint example

  Is do just the best you can,

Be proud of yourself but remember, 

  There is no indispensable man.



We can make a difference in the world while we are there.  The moment we leave someone else will fill the gap.   It doesn’t mean that while we are there that what we do doesn’t matter, it does.  It just means that as time goes by others can pick up where you left off and continue.  Make the difference that you can today.

foundation of character

“While your circumstances are beyond your control, your character is not.” 
John Maxwell


Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”


What is character made of?


It is more than just values.   Character is living your values with sincerity.     Sincerity is derived from the Latin sincerus meaning clean, pure, sound.  

Values that are expressed and lived out in a pure manner demonstrate your character.     Values are often associated with a positive moral ethic, truth, honesty, humility, kindness, and patience to yourself and with others.    The values that you live determine your character. 

Integrity – why is it so difficult?

A critical leadership trait is integrity.   The word integrity comes from the Latin ‘Integritas’ which meant soundness.    Going back in history to the height of the Roman armies the story goes that the soldiers would put on their leather armor and then would strike with their fist shouting ‘Integritas’ when they did.  The sound of good solid leather was filled with integrity.   Overtime the ritual became less important and as a result the Roman Army lost their integrity (‘Integritas’) – their soundness and began to lose their battles.

Leaders in today’s world also have to be filled with sound principles, sound action, sound reasoning and morally correct reasoning.  Leaders need to be filled with integrity.   The difficult today as it was with the Roman Army maintaining integrity is difficult when forces all around the leader attempt to reduce or remove integrity.   When personal gain is at stake we too often seen leaders crumble and their integrity melt.  As Lord Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 

Leaders need to remain humble even as their power (assumed or otherwise) rises to ensure that their integrity is not compromised, once lost it is difficult to regain.




The humblest hour

“the life of every man

Is a diary in which

He means to

Write one story

And writes another;

And his humblest hour

Is when he compares

The volume as it is

With what he hoped

To make it.”

J.M. Barrie

The first step

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of.”

— Jim Rohn, American author & motivational speaker

If you are stuck somewhere or you find yourself sinking into a morass of gooey mud then perhaps you could use a coach to help you get out of that mire you find yourself in.

Coach with HEART is a simple framework that focuses on Humility, Encouragement, Acknowledgment, Relationships and Trust.    Using those five key elements a proper environment for coaching can exist.  Taking those elements and applying them to your own life will help others.   If you encourage someone or acknowledge a success that have had you will inspire them to greater things.    Being humble helps open doors and that allows for trust to increase which is the foundation of a relationship.

The first step is the hardest step and with each successive step a bit easier. Take that first step today.

“Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid. But the first essential is that you begin. Once the battle is startled, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance.” Robert Collier

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine

Tomorrow lets look at trust.

The drive of humility

How many leaders have you known that are truly humble? Humility for a leader means openness and transparency and sometimes that is a difficult balancing act to manage. What can a leader share without appearing weak and what can they share that doesn’t come across as prideful?

If people can see the weaknesses in a leader they can begin seeing an authentic person, a person just like everyone else. A follower needs to know that the leader is not a perfect person and at the same time the follower needs to believe that the leader has integrity and character.

Listen to the words of Gandhi, “I own, however, that I have humility enough in me to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” speaks of humility in his monograph on the social sectors and says, “Humility is an absolute obsessive, burning ambition – for the cause, for the company, for the work, for the third-grade kids – combined with a ferocious will to make good on the cause; these kids read, it’s not about me, it’s about kids. It is that combination of humility, defined as burning ambition, transferred into the cause, with the brutal, stoic will that marks the 5.” Now that isn’t the image of humility most people associate humility with.

Who has a burning unquenchable desire to work for the cause with such focus and attention that people realize that the goal is bigger than the person working towards the goal? A person with great humility is the answer. If that person is immersed in the goal and they leave their ego out of the equation that is humility. It is also humility that acts to quench the thirst for recognition even though that type of determination and grit will often be recognized.   A passion for the mission that is larger than the ego – humility.

Weakness – not!

For many the word humility means weakness and cowardice. In many cases people are rewarded for being bold and exhibiting an in-charge attitude. This larger than life attitude while accepted in our culture as a necessary ingredient for leadership in actuality is not what leadership is about.

Humility is not a form of weakness but rather a form of strength. A humble leader gives power away to their followers. The strength is then passed on to the follower.

Isn’t humility the ability to accept ourselves for who we are? That is one definition. Humility is a posture we take that allows us to give away power rather than attempting to gain power from others.

Tomorrow, Appreciative Inquiry