Posts Tagged ‘humility

25
Mar
14

Your “A” Game is useless without your “Be” Atitudes

Ben CarsonOur “A” Game refers to what we bring to the table displayed in our outward performance. Our “Be” Atitudes are derived from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 and convey a series of blessedness based on our inward characteristics. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “Knowing how let’s you drive it; knowing why drives you.” Our outward accomplishments are meaningless without the right inward intentions.

Last Friday I had the pleasure and honor of not only meeting, but dining alongside Dr. Ben Carson. We talked about everything from parents who made us read and write book reports growing up, to publishing, to speaking, to marketing, to mentors, to retirements and, yes, even to future callings. But what stood out most to me was how genuinely brilliant, yet humble, this man is.  He was not boastful, he displayed no hint of ego or hubris, and he exhibited extreme control, not only of the facts, but more importantly, of his emotions.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is poor in spirit. He acknowledges his spiritual condition and the influence of God in his destiny. When I asked him about running for President, he replied, “If it’s God’s will.” He is aware of his God-given talents and places all of the decisions for their use in the hands of God.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is meek.  Meekness is all about self-control and a quiet friendly composure which does not become embittered or angry under any circumstances.  It is an active attitude and a deliberate acceptance. “Angry people are selfish people” he said.  “It’s not about you; stay out of their slime pool.”

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is pure of heart. When I asked him about how he maintains his composure when untruths are levied against him, he shared how God dealt with his bad temper when he was a teen, healing him of a flaw which nearly put him on the road to prison.  He commented, “When God fixes a problem He doesn’t just do a paint job. He fixes it.”

When we look at leaders we tend to remember the visionary earth-movers, the fiery orators, the discerning decision-makers. But let us not forget the brilliant leaders who have changed the world through their inward spirit of humility and servitude: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, and the greatest role model of all, Jesus Christ. And in my book, I count Dr. Ben Carson as one of them.

 

12
Dec
13

All I Want for Christmas is Humility

C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_I’ve been a huge advocate of acronyms since my time in the military. I came across one years ago that has been one of my favorites:  SLICC—self-licking ice cream cone; n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.

When I refer to someone as SLICC, it’s not a compliment although, true to form, that person or institution probably thinks that it is. SLICCs aren’t just found in the bureaucracy of the military, they exist everywhere! And the more downtrodden our sense of respect for hard work and humility, the more this trait takes root. The amount of self-aggrandizement throughout the media and everyday life is staggering. I feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I seek to find one truly authentic and humble soul.

When I was a little girl my older sister caught me looking at myself in the mirror and called me conceited. I was mortified and vowed to never spend an inordinate amount of time fixated upon myself. And perhaps this remembrance irritates me the most around Christmas time because self-absorption is the antithesis of the Lord’s arrival.

Christ was born in a manger, an actual feeding trough. He was gentle, he was approachable, he was worthy of all the entitlement and adoration in the universe, yet demanded none. Here’s how you can get your “Christ” on this holiday season and stop considering yourself God’s Christmas Gift to the Universe. That blessed event already took place in Bethlehem several millennia ago.

Stop Quoting Yourself: This includes taking pictures of yourself, otherwise known as selfies. These are a definite no-no in professional settings but equally weird in personal settings. If your LinkedIn profile pic is a selfie, take it down now. I find it strange when people put their own quotes on memes and then put their name on them and then put them on their Facebook page. I can understand if a third-party fan page does this, but for someone to do it on their own seems a bit braggadocious to me.

The Narcissus Syndrome: This egocentrism manifests itself in many forms, but beware of giving one of these birds a microphone unless you’ve got a hook handy and are prepared to use it. If it’s all about you, then just start a cult and hang out with your own special weirdos. Please don’t assume I’m one of them.  I was once at an event where someone was asked to give a two-minute presentation. When the time came, he delivered his assigned talk, and at then proceeded to speak for 15 minutes about his pet project—a topic that was not on the agenda. He finished and the meeting got back on track, but everyone in that room will remember his inappropriate display of self-importance.

My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned author, speaker, and motivator. If anyone had reason to be a little big for their britches it was him. But his humility was a huge part of his attraction. He knew what Christ had done for him and it was woven through every word he spoke. One of my favorite lines of his is about men who would come up to him and proclaim, “I’m a self made man!” To which he’d retort, “Well, good for you! That relieves God of that responsibility!”

But perhaps the best illustration of humility comes in the form of this anecdote from his speech The Price of Leadership:

Remember the young minister writing his first sermon, spending his time in seminary preparing for that great day when he would stand before the congregation and lower the boom, telling them how to start living. He polished the sermon. He refined it. It was really getting better, week after week, month after month, and then the great day came. After two or three minutes, he realized he was in deep trouble. He began to feel around on the podium for a button he could push that would open the trap door and let him slip out of sight. But there wasn’t any push button. Within five minutes he realized he was whipped and that things were different in real life than they were in seminary. He said a hasty benediction and went down off the platform beaten, broken, and dejected. As he departed the podium, one of the old gray-headed warhorses slipped his arm over the young minister’s shoulder and whispered in his ear, “Son, if you’d have gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.”

Here’s wishing everyone a gloriously blessed Christmas this year. May we all find our stockings and hearts so filled with humility that they overflow far into 2014!

19
Feb
13

Success by Association?

Not-Like-The-Others-PenguinWe’ve all heard the term guilt by association, but can we be successful by association? The truest leaders are constantly giving of themselves.  My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, said “You are the same person five years from now that you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Some take this to mean that if I spend five years reading books on becoming a millionaire then I’ll become a millionaire; and if I associate with successful people for five years I’m going to become one.

Success is not assimilated. When you rub elbows with the rich and famous, none of it actually rubs off on you. You still have to earn it for yourself.  It’s just that the vision, and the council, and the motivation are around you so the chances of you accomplishing YOUR goals are much greater than if you were not in the presence of greatness.

Sooner or later, you’ve got to pay it forward to stay in the Success Club. If all you represent is a siphon on those around you in an effort to prop yourself up to their level by association, you are a taker, not a giver, and you are certainly not a success. One of my favorite analogies used by many a preacher regarding making Christianity a personal choice, and not being born into faith is, “Just because you’re born in a garage doesn’t make you an automobile.”

The whole premise of success is to give back, and not to continually leech off the reputation or contacts of the people you are associating with. Riding on someone else’s coattails and name dropping are just as despicable as stepping on someone to get to the top.

Humility is the ultimate sign of greatness. To truly become first, you must become last, not simply hang out with those in first place. So make sure your motives are self-examined. There is no doubt that who we hang out with impacts us. But we really should be doing some of our own impacting, too, which is why we should never make associations about ourselves, but rather ask ourselves what our associations can do for others.

15
Mar
11

talk may be cheap, but the written word is priceless

As a leader, everything is a reflection of who you are, even the pictures on your desk and the books on your shelf. Keep yours stocked with tremendous reading material and let your team know they are free to take them, read them, and share them.

Haines and Yaggy said, “You may judge a man more truly by the books and papers which he reads than by the company which he keeps.”

Books on the shelf give a sense of humility about the leader. They let the employee know that the boss is humble enough to read what others have to say about leadership so that they can be better themselves.

When people came to my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, for answers, he’d pull a chosen book of the shelf and have the individual read a passage to him. He knew that allowing them to discover the answer themselves was far more powerful than spoon feeding the information.

As Brian Tracy said, “Difficulties are not to obstruct, but to instruct.” Be sensitive about getting in the way of the person’s learning journey. Simply open a book and let the words speak to each individual’s ears and hearts. They’ll find exactly what they need to know.

It’s tough to keep your mouth shut when people come to you with problems. It’s in our nature to want to help solve everyone’s issues with our own clever solutions. But if we deny someone the struggle of finding their own true answer, we deny them their victory. The path we forged may not be the best one for them.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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