Do nothing out of selfish ambition or deceit, but in humility consider others more significant than yourselves. Let each one look not only to his own interests, but to the interests of others. – PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4

Consider that we live in a time where Instagram influencers or YouTubers (most with no technical skill, academic knowledge, or talent) have reached celebrity status and have accumulated significant wealth through their various platforms. And many of their followers aspire to be like them. And why not? Well, for one reason, this celebrity status changes us for the worse. Universally, this status requires a selfishness and a worldly focus for only gaining things – money, power, and prestige.

Why Be Humble?

Being humble has at least eight benefits for the business leader and entrepreneur.

  1. Humility soothes the soul Humble people can better cope with anxiety about their mortality. Instead of erecting self-defenses against death, humble people tend to find it provides a useful perspective on life and how it should be lived.
  2. Excellence in leadership Humble leaders are not only better liked, as you might imagine, but studies have shown they are also more effective.
  3. Higher self-control Oddly, studies have found that an obsession with the self can paradoxically lead to lower self-control. The humble exhibit higher self-control in many situations because they place less importance on the self. Perhaps this is partly because humble people tend to know their limits.
  4. Better work performance A study of employees’ supervisors found that being honest and humble was a good predictor of people’s job performance.
  5. Humble people get higher grades A study of 55 students has found that those who were more humble did better academically.
  6. Humility leads to less prejudice One characteristic of humility is having a low sense of entitlement. Humble people don’t think they are owed things. This leads to a less prejudiced view of the world, encouraging them to be tolerant of others and less defensive about their beliefs.
  7. More helpful Humble people are, on average, more helpful than people who are conceited or egotistical. In a study, participants who were more humble were more likely to offer help and more of their time to those in need. Unsurprisingly, humble people have also been found to be more generous.
  8. Humility benefits relationships Humble people may have better relationships because they accept others for who they are.

The Bible

How to be humble is found in the Bible. And it is found in the example of Jesus.

John 13:12-16 says,

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Jesus, the very Son of God, the greatest human to ever live, willingly gave his life and position to serve all, even those who did not appreciate Him or receive what He gave. In many senses, He was trampled on. Nevertheless, He made His choices based on the Father’s will and His own willingness to trust Him.

Think and pray
Successful business leaders and entrepreneurs know that humility breeds success. Therefore, all leaders must be servants to those who work for them. Leaders must learn from Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help me to consider other people and their needs more significant than my own selfish wants and desires. In Jesus’ name, amen!

Philip W. Struble is the President of Landplan Engineering and is passionate about helping business leaders steward their companies in a way that honors God. He is the author of Zebedee and Sons Fishing Co.: Business Advice from the Bible and hosts a weekly blog Philip and his wife, Stephanie, have four adult children and currently reside on a small farm in rural Douglas County, Kansas.