Any kind of leadership is risky business. If you don’t think so, I’ll let you in on a little secret that could change your mind: no one is ever really qualified to lead. Yes, you read that right. No amount of degrees or experience can qualify you. This statement may seem absurd, but when you see leadership as what it is—an entrustment that invites us to shape God’s greatest treasure, PEOPLE—you have no choice but to step into positions of leadership (parenting, coaching, teaching, bossing, etc.) with confident humility.

This idea of confident humility may seem like an oxymoron, but isn’t that just how God works? He loves to confound the wise with “His foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:27) . . . In this post, I want to give you three practical (and maybe a bit “foolish”) tips that will help you lead with confident humility.

  • Believe that you are chosen (or appointed) for your position of leadership. This statement, on the surface, may seem to encourage arrogance, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many young leaders secretly doubt their appointment, so they either act arrogantly to compensate for their deficiencies, or they back down from their rightful role. When you work and live in the knowledge that you are “unqualified” yet appointed, this positions you to lead with confident humility.
  • Gather and learn from different leadership styles and methods. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying. That’s why it’s so important to consume leadership resources—things like blogs, podcasts, books. It’s also imperative to connect with other leaders and ask what works for them. As you gather information, you’ll figure out what works best for you and the people you lead. Each person you lead—whether they’re your kids or employees—will require you to use different leadership tools, so make sure to build up your supply.
  • Don’t be afraid to confront, but always believe the best. Confrontation is a gift from God. It’s an open door to greater intimacy and understanding. But too often people avoid it because they’ve seen it done poorly. When I was first began leading people at 19, I would get super intense and correct others without first seeking to understand them (this was an attempt to compensate for my insecurities), or I would hide from difficult conversations to avoid their aftermath. Neither approach worked. Now when I confront, I refuse to assume that I have the full picture, so I go into difficult conversations asking questions. This approach ensures that I have greater perspective and positions me as a leader to give clear correction and direction.

— • —

The bottom-line is, we need great leaders. After all, leaders are supposed to take us places we wouldn’t otherwise go and inspire us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. Let’s be confident in who we are as sons and daughters and help lead others into everything God has for them.

Like I said earlier, I’m still learning what it means to lead. J So I’d love it if you took a moment to share a tip or two with the S&D community. And if you have any specific questions for me, I’ll do my best to answer them over the next couple of days.

Until next time.

24 Comments

  1. A great reminder to also ask questions to my kids, that I am entrusted with (and that I lead;) and not to assume I know it all anyways…thanks – love to hear your thoughts and see your confidence. Greetings, Katja

  2. Becca Clifford

    This sparked some thoughts, great stuff! You should write a book.

    • Addison Bevere

      Thanks, Becca! I actually just finished writing a book that will come out in January (2020). But it’s not on leadership. 🙂

  3. Love love love this and everyone other one of your blogs. What books would you recommend to follow up your points? I would love to read more on this topic. Thank you for your honesty.

    • Addison Bevere

      To be honest, no particular book comes to mind. But some of my favorite leadership books are Multipliers, Leading Change, and 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Craig Groeschel’s leadership podcast is a great resource as well. These three keys or principles were primarily extracted from the biblical narrative. Hope that helps!

  4. This is right on point Addison! My favorite part was when you talked about going in asking questions and how that will help you to be wise and make an informed decision. I am finding this to be so true in leading a volunteer staff at my church! People feel valued when we ask questions and seek to understand rather than assume we know what’s going on before we speak to them.

    Thank you for using your voice and your gifts to help so many!

    • Addison Bevere

      Thanks, Ada! People do love to be heard. It may seem easier and more convenient to “not hear” them, but eventually what they have to say will come out, and when it does, it’ll often come out all squirrelly. 😬

  5. You’re really the best Addison ❤❤

  6. Teresa Hwangbo

    What you said about it being an oxymoron is so on point. It was just a few days ago that I experienced and re-confirmed how God uses the humble to glorify his name. Humility in a leader is key, but with it there always needs to be a confidence in the power of God.
    I was at a 3000+ conference over the weekend and had to lead worship, but I had caught a throat cold right at the beginning of the conference. I felt so weak and unfit to lead praise but had confidence in God’s appointing of me as a praise leader. Humble prayers, faith that God will show up and being a good steward by taking steps to care for my throat enabled me to be lead praise. God’s power shines in Humble Confidence.

    • Addison Bevere

      God gives grace to the humble, and His grace elevates us. I bet the time of worship was amazing! So often humility looks like simply doing what we CAN do and entrusting God to do what ONLY He can do.

  7. Tessa Misner

    I have shirked my responsibility in areas that I know I have been called to lead. Thank you for the reminder that I need to believe in my appointment.

  8. Sarah R. Haines

    Such great tips for all leaders and especially our younger generation. I really appreciate the challenge not to avoid conflict and the key is to do so in a humble and confident manner, as you suggest, that addresses the problem without attacking a person or protecting ego. It is impossible to lead this way without God’s grace. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Thank you so much. I especially appreciated hearing point number one…as it spoke specifically to my situation right now 👍🏼

  10. YES!! This was so needed

  11. Such a great article. One of the things that’s true for one to be a good leader is that you have to learn to lead yourself first, before you can lead others well, whether that’s leading your heart, thoughts and emotions. That way you get to lead from the front and lead by example but also, it means there’s no task too small for you as a leader.

    • Inessa Galichansky

      That’s such a good point Sharon!

    • Addison Bevere

      So true. There are, however, times when a leader busies herself with tasks that keep her from doing things that only she can do. As a leader, there are things that if you don’t do, no one will. A great leader works intuitively, giving herself to whatever task is most important–even if that task is viewed as menial by others.

Comment