The first part of Session 7 featured John Dickson. John is the Director for Centre of Public Christianity and Senior Pastor of St. Andrews Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia. He was asked to give a talk on the topic of humility, something he has researched through his work.

Click on the speaker to read my notes from their session: Bill Hybels, Len Schlesinger, Cory Booker, Brenda Salter McNeil, Seth GodinSteven FurtickBill Hybels/Wess StaffordMama Maggie Gobran/Bill HybelsMichelle Rhee and Henry Cloud.

Humilitas by John Dickson

  • I’m about to be the guy who talks on humility. There is a dilemma facing anyone who talks on humility in public. Does this person think he is the expert? Probably not, so why is he talking about it?
  • I fell into the topic of humility by accident. Was asked to be a par of government research project on the origins of humility. I have since developed a fascination with humility.
  • Humility is not humiliation, even though they come from same latin root. The noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself.
  • To hold power in the service of others.
  • Some of the greatest leaders in history are marked with humility. Humility makes the great greater.
  • Humility is common sense.
  • None of us is an expert at everything. What we don’t know and can’t do far exceeds what we know and can do. Expertise in one area counts for very little in another. A true expert should know this. They know much about their field, so they should know how much there is to know in another field that they don’t know.
  • Competency extrapolation.
  • Because we think the Bible trumps all other forms of knowledge, and it does, we try our hands at politics, science and more. If we don’t listen to the true experts in these fields, we misapply the Bible in a field way outside our expertise.
  • What we don’t know and can’t do far exceeds what we do know and can do.
  • Humility is beautiful.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to scale Mt. Everest, used his influence to help the people of Nepal the rest of his life after scaling Everest.
  • Presumption diminishes someone’s greatness.
  • We are attracted to the great who are humble.
  • Humility has not always been regarded as beautiful. It use to be associated as servitude in Roman and Greek world. One of the prized virtues in Greek was love of honor. How have we come to prize humility and despise pride? A humility revolution took place in the first century. It was Jesus. It wasn’t just his teaching.
  • If the greatest man we have ever known, sacrificed himself on the cross for the guilty, then we must take notice.
  • Philippians 2:3-8
  • Our culture has been massively influenced by the crucifixion. Western culture has been shaped by it. The cross changed everything.
  • When Sir Edmund Hillary scaled Everest, he took a little crucifix and left it there.
  • Humility is generative.
  • It generates new knowledge and abilities. The proud person will go away with less than the humble person from this conference. Humility generated science. Humility generated business. The leader that can minimize the arrogance that comes with success can continue to grow and learn.
  • Accidental humility. I had accidental humility of sitting in the dirt, amongst crocodiles, ant infested turtle, and asked to try a spit covered didgeridoo, and I learned. I’m good at it, but I didn’t want to be there originally when I learned. It was accidental humility.
  • Accurate criticism is your best friend. Your fast track to improvement.
  • Humility is persuasive.
  • The textbook on persuasion was written by Aristotle. Three things. Must be logos to an argument, there must be pathos, there must be ethos. Ethos is the character of the persuader. Ethos is the most significant part of persuasion. Who we are can help in the persuasion of the argument.
  • Sir Richard Bauckham, I’m completely biased to him. He was humble. It made him trustworthy. I’m biased with his arguments. I will side with him. The most believable person in the world is the person you know has your best interests in their heart.
  • Humility is inspiring.
  • It’s important in military. We must set others up for success in our organization.
  • 4 tools of leadership: ability, authority, character, persuasion. Some of the most inspiring leaders in history didn’t have authority, but they had truckloads of ability, character and persuasion. You don’t need power to hire and fire to change individuals or empires. You don’t need the keys to the kingdom to impact the kingdom. You don’t need a majority to impact your nation. You don’t need political authority to win the spiritual war. You don’t need to reclaim a Christian nation in order to win a nation back to Christ. You do need ability, character and persuasion, though.
  • My musical heroes were U2. They were coming to Australia, so my friends and I decided to go see them at hotel. We got into the hotel by wearing suits and showing up in cabs. We were shown into the hotel, past the fans, and were like, “Now what?” We hung out in the restaurant and ordered cheapest things over and over. Manager came over to us and said, “Like your initiative. Stay as long as you like” Met Bono. He didn’t “fop us off”. The way they treated us as human beings instead of fans hugely inspired me.
  • Band I was in punched above our weight for more than a decade. I think U2 had an affect on us. Since they were just like us, we thought we could be just like them.
  • Humility is…It is not just another leadership technique. A reflection of the deep structure of reality. At the center of everything is a cross.
  • “…humbled himself, even death on a cross.”

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