During the Christmas season, there’s time for reflection. Let’s reflect on being ‘poor in spirit’ and decode what it really means.

The reason I suggest this reflection is because to collaborate effectively, we have to be ‘poor in spirit’.

‘Poor in spirit’ is code for humility, which is the ability to empty yourself of pride and focus on what’s best for everyone…


For a long-time I was confused by what ‘poor in spirit’ meant.

For example, I thought you couldn’t be ‘poor in spirit’ or humble if you were financially successful.

Now I think differently… Humility has nothing to do with your finances.

While it’s true that many times you experience those poor or less fortunate as being humble – the people you serve while volunteering at a soup kitchen or painters that work on your house, financial success and humility are not mutually exclusive. Being ‘poor in spirit’ is a spiritual state, not a material state.

It may be easier for the poor to practice humility because materialism or temporary things (money, power and reputation) does not tend to get in the way of their spirituality or what’s lasting – their relationships. I observe with some people that are financially successful that money, power and reputation can tend to come before what’s lasting – their relationships.

We all have our crosses to bear on the road to collaborating effectively. Many times these crosses have two sides. On one side, soon to be saint, Blessed Mother Teresa is an example of living a life of poverty and being ‘poor in spirit’. On the other side, most of us know an example of someone who is financially successful and also ‘poor in spirit’. That person, who could drive any car they wanted and drives a modest SUV, takes times to listen to front line team members habitually and elevates others with their words every chance they have is humble.

I don’t know about you, but I could collaborate with either one of these of people.

Regardless of where we start, we all have to get to the same place as these people to collaborate effectively – we have to be ‘poor in spirit’.

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