Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility by Stephen Cherry

By Stephen Cherry

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Example text

There are boys in this class with no shoes at all. It’s not their fault and it’s no shame. Our Lord had no shoes. He died shoeless. Do you see Him hanging on the cross sporting shoes? 3 The class is silenced. The teacher threatens them with the all-toofamiliar corporal punishment should anyone be shamed for being poor, and some equilibrium is re-established. It is a telling episode. Suddenly it is not the suffering of the dying Christ that is in focus but his poverty and, by implication, his identification with the poor of the earth.

Indeed for Collins, humility is not the only ingredient of level 5 leadership. It is part of it, but it is not the whole story. ’19 Humility alone is not enough, which is why Collins does not talk of ‘selfless leaders’ or ‘servant leaders’. Level 5 leaders are passionately engaged. In the business world they are highly motivated on behalf of their company. They know that to lead a successful venture they must be wise in discerning when to step forward and when to step back, when to speak and when to listen.

Our passion can be engaged in many ways, good and bad. Passion can spill into greed and lust and reinforce egotistical pride. It can motivate us to be successful, powerful or healthy – or all three. But passionate humility is motivated by peace and seeks reconciliation by aspiring to justice while remaining merciful. Passionate humility rages when it sees innocent suffering or falsehood perpetrated, but melts when it encounters true repentance. It is not afraid of anger or conflict or of suffering the consequences of being radically open and undefended.

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