Breakfast with Fred leadership ministry
Fred strongly believed in the power of humility. But he disliked the “hang dog” way of expressing it. His well-known definition served him and others well. “Humility is not denying the power, but admitting it comes through you and not from you.” He wrote often about the properly disciplined ego. These words to executives can truly be transferred to any other realm.

Christian higher education is more challenged today than in many years. Our Christian educators and institutions need our prayer. Therefore, we are initiating the BWFLI (Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute) Prayer Network. If you would like to join us, please send an email to and you will receive a monthly email featuring thoughts by Bob Deffinbaugh of and chair of BWF Project. Colleges will send specific requests which we will forward to the network.

You can help us continue stretching and blessing through the outreach of Breakfast With Fred. We want to expand our coverage, please invite your friends to sign up for the Weekly Thought to have them delivered directly to their email.

Humility: The Ultimate Executive Tool

The mature Christian need not waste all the effort that others spend building up an ego structure to maintain their sense of worth. That job’s been done. The Bible tells us God first made each of us uniquely, and that He died for us. This fact, once accepted, reduces all other efforts to fight for a place shallow.

This security invites a genuine brand of humility that can do more for an executive than any business school course. For example, often bosses fail to delegate effectively because they hang on to work that inflates their egos. Since the manager’s chief job is to get work done through the efforts of others, this form of ego defense is the main cause of management failures.

The ego-crippled manager does not know how to make good use of the associates. You have to know how to build up all the people in your organization to make sure your customers know they’re getting first-rate service… that the job is getting done. Of course, the first step is making sure you have top rate people who can accomplish the work. If a manager or executive steps in and steps over an employee with a customer ostensibly offering personal service, the opposite effect results. They feel less sure of the value of the staff.

It is very important that the people I employ understand my job. It they don’t, they often try to do it for me – to take over things I want to control. To avoid this problem I make a list of the things that only I can do. If I have hired correctly, and am operating in Christian humility, I find the list to be shockingly short.

I have found many executives do exactly the opposite. They make a list but they try to think of all the things they can do. They make an exceedingly long list then seek to delegate the rest. It ends in poor management and an unhealthy organization… and often a burned out executive… all because of an overblown ego.

This week think about: 1) How controlled is my ego? 2) What is my personal definition of humility? 3) How well have I developed my delegation skills?

Words of Wisdom: “Since the manager’s chief job is to get work done through the efforts of others, this form of ego defense is the main cause of management failures.”

Wisdom from the Word: “The reward for humility and fearing the Lord is riches and honor and life.”  (Proverbs 22:4 NET Bible)

News Line: ••• 9/8/15; “And miles to go before I sleep” Brenda A. Smith’s new blog explores the famous Robert Frost poem applying it to daily life. Click here to read her blog.
Do you have comments or thoughts about this week’s Weekly Thought?
Share them in our discussion forum on

To read more writings of Fred Smith go to is a constantly growing online archive of Fred Smith, Sr.’s lifework. You will find hours of written materials, answers to currently-asked questions, oneliners, archived weekly thoughts and more more. If you have been enjoying these weekly thoughts you will find a treasure trove of work on communication, leadership and self-development as you explore the thousands of pages

The Weekly Thought from Breakfast With Fred
Copyright ©2015 BWF Project, Inc.