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Pride and Always Being the First to Speak

Hey bud! God gave you two ears and one mouth.

Use them proportionately. – The General

As I watched an old Western on TV one Sunday afternoon, I realized my pride was damaging our leadership team. In the movie, the leaders of a Sioux tribe were at a council meeting. The younger leaders on the council argued passionately and made several key points. Meanwhile, the eldest warrior listened quietly. When he raised his hand to speak, the group fell silent. He pointed out the merits of some of the arguments he heard and weaknesses in others. Then, he gave his advice. His wisdom ruled the day and solved the issues which threatened his people.

In a previous article on Courage, I shared a story about my hesitancy to speak up as a new leader. At this point in my career, I held seniority within my leadership team. Now, the pendulum had swung the other way. Unfortunately, my mouth was usually the first one to move in meetings. As an elder on the team, I dominated discussions without junior leaders having ever opened their mouths.

The Humility of the Sioux elder in the Western struck me right between the eyes. He had the most experience. He had fought many battles and already earned the right to speak in council meetings. Yet, he waited to be the last one to talk. When he did, his words were few but they were powerful.

His example caused me to examine my own leadership.

I know I will always fight against my ego. That fight never leaves me. Anytime I take our assessment, I always score worst in habit of Humility. </