- Eagerly start the day's main work.
- Do not murmur at your busyness or the shortness of time, but buy up all the time around.
- Never murmur when correspondence [or e-mail] is brought in
- Never exaggerate duties by seeming to suffer under the load, but treat all responsibilities as liberty and gladness.
- Never call attention to crowded work or trivial experiences.
- Before confrontation or censure, obtain from God, a real love for the one at fault. Know the facts; be generous in your judgement. Otherwise, how ineffective, how unintelligible, or perhaps provocative your well-intentioned censure may be.
- Do not believe everything you hear; do not spread gossip.
- Do not seek praise, gratitude, respect, or regard for past service.
- Avoid complaining when your advice or opinion is not consulted, or having been consulted, set aside.
- Never allow yourself to be placed in favorable contrast with anyone.
- Do not press conversation to your own needs and concerns.
- Seek no favors, nor sympathies; do not ask for tenderness, but receive what comes.
- Bear the blame, do not share or transfer it.
- Give thanks when credit for your own work or ideas is given to another.
As I typed these up for this blog, I was convicted as memories of my own violations of each of these principles came to mind. A very sobering experience. I'm going to print these out in a card on my wallet and try to read them often .....
These ideas are not my own. They were penned by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury. J. Oswald Sanders writes of Benson, in his book Spiritual Leadership:
Even though he lived in another era, his noble rules for life carry relevance today.
Here's a challenge for you. Start your day by writing down these principles in your own handwriting. Personalize them if you want. See what kind of impact it has on your leadership.