Count your blessings...literally.
Jim Collins--author of one of the most celebrated leadership books ever (Good to Great) and one of my all-time favorites--talked about how great companies fall. One of primary causes is arrogance ("hubris born of success"). Collins loves data and he says the data from his team's research actually shows that the greatest leaders are humble. And he suggested that one way of developing humility is to count your blessing. He recommended using an Excel spreadsheet! Come up with at least one hundred.
How does this develop humility? You realize how much you have that you did not earn. (Sounds a lot like grace.) Just this morning I was listening to a show on MPR talking about Warren Buffet's challenge to the world's billionaires to join him in giving at least half of their wealth away. Buffet recognizes that if he had been born in a poor village in Peru, he would likely be a poor farmer and his talents would have gone unused.
Declaration: Actually, I've been doing this a lot lately. I've been listing, out loud and sometimes with Lois, what we have been blessed with as an antidote to some inexplicable blues I've been experiencing. One evening in particular, just before going to sleep, I was doing this, and it was as if a cloud lifted immediately (doesn't always happen that way). The next morning I was full of energy. I had been stuck on the message I'm preaching this weekend and the next morning I wrote it in about two hours right after I got up. (I love energy. Great for creativity.). Anyway, I declare that I will continue to count my blessing...literally.