I am always a little surprised when someone refers to me as an “authority” or “expert” on leadership. While I certainly appreciate the respect they are showing me by describing me with those words I know otherwise.
I know some stuff about leadership but I also know that I know a tiny percentage of what it’s possible to know. I know too that neither I nor anyone else can ever come close to knowing more than that small percentage.
Since leadership is about people and only people it’s impossible to truly be an “expert on leadership.” People will always surprise you. You can predict with some accuracy what people will do based on their past performance but never with enough accuracy to be a true expert.
People are unique, they are actually even unique from themselves depending on the circumstances in their life at any given time.
That’s what makes leadership so fascinating. It is what makes leadership so rewarding and it’s what makes leading so challenging.
When someone else tells me that they are a leadership expert I am more than skeptical. I have only heard a couple of people describe themselves as an Authentic Leader. The moment the words came out of their mouth I was pretty certain they were anything but authentic.
It’s kinda like when someone offers a class on humility taught by an “expert” on the subject. As soon as someone accepts the description of themselves as an expert on humility they are no longer humble enough to speak about it. So it is with leadership!
Authentic Leaders know that their journey to leadership excellence will never end. Authentic Servant Leaders know that helping the people they lead must always be the purpose of that journey.
If you’re not constantly working on your knowledge of leadership then you run the risk of falling behind other leaders. If you’re not always developing your leadership skills then you run the risk of losing the people you would lead.
Leaning about all things leadership never stops for the best leaders. If you didn’t learn something new about leading others yesterday then you had best double your efforts today because if you’re not learning then you’re not leading.