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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can someone explain the pros and cons of being humble?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (21210points) January 26th, 2021

“Leader as servant”, versus “leader as powerful”

My university’s school motto was, “leader as servant.”

Is that an ideal way to live?

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11 Answers

kritiper's avatar

In the stories of Jesus Christ, I would say his life shows him to be quite humble. Study his life to learn the pros and cons. An ideal way to live is to follow The Golden Rule to the letter, and do it all the time, not just when it suits you.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Don’t know about all of that leader vs. servant jazz, just try really hard to keep a positive outlook, and be as friendly and cordial as possible with everyone you meet. Easier said than done, I know. But give a shot. Or as my old pappy used to say, just run that up the flag pole and see who salutes.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Interesting question, I’ve pondered it several times myself over the last decade.

In my experience, leading as a servant (serving others humbly), means you are part of the people. They more easily relate and communicate with you, because they trust you are working in their best interests based on their past experiences.

Leader as rich, simply means you are probably Type A and may act from ego rather than the public interest. Like most politician’s-local to DC, I’d think.

The sad thing is that the leaders with a servants heart are often not aggressive enough in fighting the Type A’s for dominance, which is why our government is rotten.

I’ve always thought it was an odd dichotomy to say you have a servants heart while accumulating personal wealth. The two seem incompatible to me, as there is so much suffering in the world.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Feel the Bern, problem solved.

Zaku's avatar

Humility tends to be appreciated and likable. It has advantages in its lack of impact on others. And other good though non-obvious effects. Can be a disadvantage if you crave attention, praise, etc., but truly humble people tend not to. Can be a disadvantage if you want to be a leader, in societies that reward self-aggrandizement etc., or for other situations where it might be good to be noted for your qualities by people who aren’t sensitive enough to notice them.

“Leader as servent. Verses leader as rich.”
– servAnt
– versUs
– “Rich” is not supposed to be the opposite of “servant”, nor the opposite of “humble”.

There is no one “ideal way to live.”

Everyone has their own paths to follow, and they get to choose.

But being a braggart craving wealth, power and fame… I really wouldn’t recommend.

Jeruba's avatar

There’s the thinking that defines humility as seeing yourself in your true relation to others. This makes sense to me. It doesn’t mean seeing yourself as lower. It means seeing yourself and others as they really are. Not so easy, but worth striving for.

A leader whose commitment is to the group he leads and the people in it, placing them above his own personal interests, is how I see the servant-leader: he puts his strengths behind service to the people and institutions under his care. That’s what we trust him to do.

(Read “he or she,” etc., where I have masculine pronouns.)

There are many online sources defining and explaining the servant-leadership model and enumerating its principles.

janbb's avatar

Ask Uriah Heep about being ‘umble.

LostInParadise's avatar

A leader can serve the people and still be powerful. A leader is just a single person and can only derive power from those who follow them.

A leader can also be both humble and powerful. A large part of humility is to recognize the role that chance plays in our lives. Much of a person’s success in life depends on when and where we are born and the genes we are born with. The ability and willingness to work hard depends largely on these factors.

Strauss's avatar

~~I’m humble and proud of it!

Jeruba's avatar

@janbb, and then don’t follow his example, right? Uriah Heep is obsequious, unctuous, slimy, despicable, and morally low, hiding behind humility as he carries out his hateful schemes.

At the end, when he’s found out and bound for prison, doesn’t he say “Now I am truly umble”? Can’t find that on a quick look. But it’s an admission that his humility was false. Genuine humility doesn’t need to speak its name.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Oh doe sure. I was being tongue in cheek.

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