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A Humble Leader Is an Effective Leader: Here’s Why

humble leader

According to research, the most effective leader is a humble leader. Research led by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman discovered that leaders who underrate themselves are more effective than those who rate themselves high on self-assessments.

These results are no surprise to Christians. One of the greatest leaders in our collective story is Moses, God’s servant who led God’s people out of Egyptian slavery. Of Moses the Scripture says, “Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).

Humility is a mark of the Christian faith. We belong to God because He humbled Himself for us, stepped into our world, and suffered a humiliating death for us. We become His when we humble ourselves as children and trust Him fully, knowing we cannot stand before Him in our goodness. We become more like Him as we walk in humility before Him.

A Humble Leader Is an Effective Leader: 3 Reasons Why

1. Benefits From Others

A humble leader benefits from the wisdom of others because he/she doesn’t claim to have all the answers. A humble leader benefits from the competence of others because a humble leader doesn’t act omni-competent. A godly leader benefits from the gifting of others because a humble leader doesn’t believe he/she has all the gifts. Humble leaders enjoy others, bless others, and are blessed by others.

2. Energizes Others

Zenger and Folkman’s research also discovered that leaders who underrate themselves have more engaged employees. Such a leader is going to lead a more engaged team because the humble leader values the people, their perspectives, and their contributions. A godly leader energizes others because he/she needs the gifting and the contribution of everyone on the team.

3. Receives From the Lord

Augustine is credited with saying, “God is always trying to give us good things but our hands are too full to receive them.” A true leader doesn’t have full hands but open ones ready to receive wisdom and power and mercy from the Lord. The Lord resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).


This article originally appeared here.

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Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, he served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary and has authored or co-authored several books, including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.