Issue No. 141 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting tackles humility and the Program Bucket—two subjects rarely combined. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
The Root of Every Virtue
Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a South African Dutch Reformed pastor and Christian leader who authored 240 books and devotional writings, including With Christ in the School of Prayer and this week’s book, Humility. No jazzy subtitle, just the one word—humility.
The book caught my eye because a candidate for a CEO position included it as one of three books he would recommend to his senior team members. Wow. I must confess that I have exerted untold wasted energy being outraged more over arrogant leaders than I have in reflecting on the cure: humility. This book whacked me—and is still poking at me, yet it’s only 59 pages, with big print. Here you go:
• “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is, from the very nature of things, the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue.”
• “The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is its lack of humility.”
• “Pride can lift its head in the very temple of God, and make His worship the scene of self exaltation.”
• “Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.”
• “Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows Him as God to do all.”
• “The truth is this: Pride may die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”
• “No tree can grow except on the root from which it sprang.”
Every page convicts—you probably shouldn’t order this book. There’s more. “Is it any wonder that the Christian life is so often feeble and fruitless, when the very root of the Christ life is neglected, is unknown?” And thus Andrew Murray (who also wrote The True Vine and Abide With Me) elegantly pictures the battle between pride and humility (“the two master powers”)—documenting the futility of living a God-honoring life without humility. The path to the higher life? “Down, lower down!”
To order this week’s book from Amazon, click on this title: Humility, by Andrew Murray.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Andrew Murray writes, “…humility towards men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real; that humility has taken up its abode in us; and become our very nature; that we actually, like Christ, have made ourselves of no reputation.” What does this mean to you?
2) What’s the balance between pride and humility when we tell our organization’s story in publications, brochures, donor letters and Rotary speeches?
Thus Saith the CEO - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Program Bucket, Chapter 6, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to do research. “If you have $10,000 to spend, invest $5,000 in researching and understanding your audience.”
Truth be told—in this economic downturn—the reason some companies, churches and nonprofits are dropping programs right and left is that they should never have been launched in the first place. Some were started because the leader came down off the mountain and announced, “Thus saith the CEO.” No research. No ask the customer. No second guessing. Just full speed ahead. That’s not faith—that’s stupidity.
So…before you launch your next big idea, invest 50 percent of the budget in researching and understanding the market. You’ll save a ton of money—and often, a ton of embarrassment.
For more help, download Worksheet #6.2: Top 10 Questions to Ask About Program Capacity and Sustainability from the Program Bucket page at my Management Buckets website. Plus, check out the book recommendations listed for this bucket.