“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy
Any of the legendary leaders including John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, John Kotter, Anthony Robbins, and Lance Secretan, will tell you that leadership is a life-long pursuit. It is something you begin and never truly finish. Why? Because you never truly ever finish learning. There’s the old saying that ‘you learn something new everyday’ and it’s very true. If you’re willing you’ll learn at least one new thing every day. Those who aren’t willing to keep learning and growing won’t ever gain the status, abilities or capabilities of a leader who has studied long and hard and keeps learning. Of course, anyone who does lots of learning will tell you that it’s essential to apply what you’ve learned as well; that learning alone is just a tool, but when you add doing to it, it becomes truly powerful.
A good leader learns not only from books, courses and classes, but also from anyone around them. A leader doesn’t discriminate age, gender, race, or anything else. Instead they open themselves up to the lessons people of all ages, shapes and kinds can tell them. Children are a great example of some of the best teachers I’ve ever met. I’ve learned more in their presence about human nature, success and about myself, than all the years of traditional schooling have taught me.
If you want to be a true leader in your field you can’t give up the time each day to learn. It’s absolutely essential not only to your general and life success, but your success of your clients and your respect and status within your industry. You can’t ignore things or people by saying they can’t teach you anything. Rather you have to be willing to let the universe know what messages and lessons you need to receive that day. I love solid facts, working with numbers and making strategic plans. But I’ll never ignore that gut feeling that something is wrong or I’m missing something. It’s been right too many times for me to ignore.
This week I encourage you to become a better leader by being willing to learn, and I invite you to share some of the lessons you’ve learned lately in the comments.