Leaders are Learners

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.John F. Kennedy

A leadership position is not a destination. No one should “arrive” at a leadership position and just sit tight. A leadership position does not make you a leader, it merely gives you the opportunity to grow into one.

To grow as a leader you must learn. Continually.

The most successful people learn something new everyday and so do the most effective leaders. It doesn’t have to be an epiphany every day but you should add to your knowledge base each day.

If you want to be a better manager then learn something about stuff, if you’re intent is to become a better leader then learn something about people. Learning something about people in general is good, learning something about your people specifically is great.

Invest time each day to learn what motivates your people. Learn what their goals are, discover their challenges and even more important, how you as a leader might help them overcome those challenges.

The best leaders are not afraid to show the gaps in their knowledge and the very best leaders do not believe it is a weakness to learn from the people they lead. It’s pretty tough to learn when you’re struggling to keep your “I already knew that face” on.

So open your eyes, open your mind and perhaps even open your heart to new discoveries every single day. Never forget this basic leadership fact: when you stop learning you likely stop leading too.

Never stop leading!

13 thoughts on “Leaders are Learners

  1. Your people are more important than your current task. When you are really leading you can take your team out if that situation and motivate them to accomplish anything else. If you want to test your leadership, take your team out to do volunteer work. Something that has nothing to do with your job.

    1. Thanks an incredible idea. “Trying out” your leadership in a different environment provides a true leader with a ton of valuable insights about the effectiveness of their leadership.

  2. Great post Steve! As leaders, our goal should be to be life long learners and set the example for those around us. We also must accept the fact that we need to reach a certain stage of vulnerability and be authentic with others. It is alright to let others take the lead and be in the limelight. This will allow us to truly lead and increase the leadership capacity of those that we lead!!

    1. Thanks Wade, I think increasing the leadership ability of those we lead in one of the most important things a leader does. Indeed allowing others to lead from the front once in a while is a great way to do just that.

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