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Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership Hardcover – May 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310328624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310328629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'I am a firm believer, as is John Dickson, that people with humility don't think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less. Read Humilitas and develop a culture of humility in your organization.' -- Ken Blanchard, , Coauthor

From the Back Cover

Humility, or holding power loosely for the sake of others, is sorely lacking in today's world. Without it, many people fail to develop their true leadership potential and miss out on genuine fulfillment in their lives and their relationships. Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership shows how the virtue of humility can turn your strengths into true greatness in all areas of life. Through the lessons of history, business, and the social sciences, author John Dickson shows that humility is not low self-esteem, groveling, or losing our distinct gifts. Instead, humility both recognizes our inherent worth and seeks to use whatever power we have at our disposal on behalf of others.

Some of the world's most inspiring and influential players have been people of immense humility. The more we learn about humility, the more we understand how essential it is to a satisfying career and personal life. By embracing this virtue, we will transform for good the unique contributions we each make to the world.


More About the Author

John Dickson (PhD) is co-director of Centre for Public Christianity (publicchristianity.org), an independent research and media organization promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith. With a degree in theology (Moore Theological College, Sydney) and a doctorate in ancient history (Macquarie University, Sydney) he is a senior research fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, where he teaches courses on Christian origins and the world religions. John is also the Senior Minister at St. Andrews Roseville (standrews.net.au), an innovative Anglican community on Sydney's North Shore. He has a wealth of experience as a local church pastor, public evangelist, and media presenter. He is the author of more than a dozen books and the host of two major television documentaries on the life of Jesus. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.

Customer Reviews

This book is smart, very readable, and compelling.
Clint Walker
Dickson defines humility as "the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself."
James Korsmo
You may find it is one of the most surprisingly good books you've read in a long time!
Rebecca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bret L. Simmons on August 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I purchased "Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership," by John Dickson after hearing him speak at the Global Leadership Summit. Most leaders will never hear about this book, but all who do should consider reading it. It has too much fat for my taste, but the meat is exceptional.

Dickson defines humility as "the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself," such that a "humble person is marked by a willingness to hold power in service of others." (p. 24). By this definition you can see that humility starts from a position of dignity, strength, and a healthy sense of my own worth and abilities. Unlike humiliation, which can be thrust upon me by others, humility is a choice I make willingly. And humility is social, more about how I treat others than about how I think of myself. Bob Sutton has written that the best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

Dickson argues that humility is important for leadership because humility is persuasive. Humility unlocks the door to referent power. "We are more attracted to the great who are humble than to the great who know it and want everyone else to know it as well." (p. 69). He quotes Aristotle's belief that character is the controlling factor in persuasion: "We believe good-hearted people to a greater extent and more quickly than we do others on all subjects in general and completely so in cases where there is not exact knowledge but room for doubt." (p. 139). We trust the humble more than the proud to act in our best interest.

Dickson also argues that humility is generative, a powerful key to learning and growth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Strock VINE VOICE on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The timeless topic of humility appears more timely than ever today.

Self-regard, self-assertion, self-consciousness.....self-, self-, self-... these are the found on the surface everywhere. Regrettably, they're also found underneath the surface, time and again, when one gets to the root of common problems.

John Dickson, a Ph.D. from the highly regarded Macquarie University in Sydney, has produced a thoughtful, serviceable book on humility. He combines a historian's perspective with a practical bent. The result is enchanting.

Dickson is emphatic and convincing in arguing that humility is a key component of effective leadership. As he says, "All organizations, even hugely hierarchical ones like the military, are still communities of people in [a] relationship."

His syllogism:

--Persuasion and example are keys to effective leadership.

--Humility enhances persuasiveness, partly because it is a compelling character trait in leaders.

--Therefore, humility is important for leadership.

Some reviewers have criticized Dickson's book as being too academic, removed from the real world. They apparently would prefer a workbook.

Such criticism misses the point in at least two ways. First, Dickson, an academic with a strong focus on Christian themes, has written the book he set out to write. He's quite clear about his approach from the start, so readers are forewarned. There are no false pretenses here.

More importantly, Dickson offers the readers a way of thinking. He proposes it, backs it up with a myriad of examples, and leaves it to the reader to craft her own approach.

The bottom line: Humilitas is a fine book. It can stimulate thought and guide action for anyone seeking to make a greater contribution in their life and work. I recommend it highly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tory VINE VOICE on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I saw John Dickson speak at the 2011 Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I had never heard of him or his book before and I was blown away by his words. The concept of humility is such a lost one in the world today, I don't even know if we define it correctly. In this book he demonstrates that, historically, leaders that are marked with humility are the ones that accomplish great things. Though he brings up Biblical passages this book is in no way solely "Christian".

This book weaves together people and ideas from many times and eras, including present day. He uses the Steve Jobs' inability of showing humility in the iphone 4 "attenagate" and how simply not saying "sorry" and defending themselves was in fact the wrong way of handling it and tarnished their reputation somewhat. He also talks about being a young boy and meeting the irish band U2 in a hotel dining room and how when they approached them, they were warmly welcomed - by a world class band! They were inspired by this exchange. Humility breeds inspiration and respect, and harmony.

You will enjoy this book. Practical, compelling and even needed in today's society.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our contemporary society may have eclipsed the past in terms of science, medicine and technology, but in some things we are "well below par" when compared to the ancients, according to John Dickson in this book. Real wisdom in life and leadership can be found by opening yourself up to centuries of human thinking on subjects such as communication, ethics, human nature, romantic love and natural human rights.

There are plenty of books which have been written about the virtues of humility, but I was intrigued to find out what a historian might have to say about the virtue of humility as applied to leadership. Humility, according to the author, is the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself. Thus true humility presupposes that a person has status and influence, and is not to be confused with low self-esteem or being a doormat.

In subsequent chapters, the author asserts that:

* It is common sense for us to use humility to keep our pride in check.
* We are more attracted to great people who are humble than to those who are not.
* The ancient world admired honour, not humility, but Jesus of Nazareth caused a humility revolution.
* Humility generates learning and growth, and provides a firm basis for self-esteem.
* The humble are frequently more persuasive and inspiring than the arrogant.
* Humility inspires and lifts those around us.
* Humility means treating those who hold contrary beliefs with respect and friendship.

The book is reasonably brief and written in an entertaining style.
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