To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
– LUKE 18:9-14

Can a good leader also be humble?

Can a humble leader be successful?

"Humility makes us gentle to others and generates respect far beyond our understanding. A humble servant is hard to find, but when they surface they generate teamwork and accomplishments beyond their greatest expectations.” - Brig. General Dick Abel

Throughout the bible there are numerous times where we are reminded to “Humble ourselves in the name of the Lord” or “Humble ourselves and pray”, and that “God opposes the proud but gives to the humble.

It’s easy for us to see the arrogance of others; a political leader, an athlete.

But what about us? Are we arrogant?
Are we prideful?
Are we cocky?

As believers, we are called to be in the world but not of it. But in being set apart from the world, is the perception of us one that is of us being closed off, being in a clique, of one that is better than the people around us? Have we inadvertently given the perception that we are arrogant? Has the perception of us inadvertently become like that of the Pharisees of old - judgmental, prideful, arrogant?

Perception is the truth until proven otherwise.

Jesus is and was the epitome of a humble servant... a humble leader.

  • He led with love and people followed.
  • He cared about those around Him and people came from miles around just to see, hear, touch his garment.
  • He healed the blind, gave words to the mute, and the lame walked... and spoke truth to all that would hear.
  • He met people’s personal needs and then met their spiritual ones.
  • He met people where they were. Exchanged conversations and thoughts. Spoke so people could understand. Showed them the good and right way
  • He humbled Himself to become one of us. Humbled Himself even to death so that we might have life.
  • He lived out what He said he believed.

As leaders, may we learn from His humility... and His leadership. And become more and more like Him in our leadership and in our lives.

Think and pray
What will people say of your leadership?

Heavenly Father, help me to lead like Jesus led, considering other people’s needs greater than my own, and being clothed in humility rather than arrogance, in Jesus’ name, Amen!


Marty Stubblefield is a husband, father, businessperson, youth coach, former college basketball player, and the Executive Vice-President of CBMC-USA. Having spent 34+ years in Banking, Bank Administration and State Government across the Southeast, he brings a different view of faith, life, and the struggles we face in the marketplace and our day-to-day lives. He has been married to Amy for 27 years, has three daughters, a son-in-law, grandson, and two Labradoodles. He blogs weekly at