Leadership is about always being teachable.
At 19 you are pretty sure you don’t need to learn anything.
At 44 you are well aware that you still have a great deal to learn.
One thing I know for certain, leadership is a journey, not a destination. The moment you think you have made it is the moment you start to fail as a leader and I don’t want to do that.
Tough though it maybe, I am always learning. I am not always happy about the process of learning but I have come to value it, as without new insights in to who I am and how I lead, I have no chance of becoming a better leader. I immediately place a lid on my leadership effectiveness.
I have learned from my mistakes. Many, many mistakes, I’m sure.
I have learned from not giving up on the journey. Failing doesn’t make me a failure.
I have learned from the wisdom and guidance of others. People close to me and from leaders across the globe, from within Church settings but business too.
I have learned from feedback. Both when it is invited and when it is not.
I have learned from my own leaders. When they have said ‘NO’ and when they have said ‘Well done’.
I have learned when I have been made aware of shortcomings.
I have learned from reading books. Add to that attending a conference, listening to a podcast or taking a course.
I have learned by reading my Bible. I read with the attitude of observing what it says to me, looking at the person of Jesus Christ and endeavouring to become more like Him. There is always room for improvement there.
Even in the last few days I have been learning about myself. I have listened to the words of others and had to ask the difficult questions of myself:
Is there any truth in what they are saying?
What can I learn to make me a better me?
No one ever said remaining teachable would be easy but I have discovered that to not remain so would probably see me disqualify myself as a leader. Being dismissive of others, having a wrong attitude or just being plain ignorant, is not good enough. Nobody likes to think they haven’t quite got it right but I believe that a good leader grows through these times of honest reflection and I am determined to be that type of leader.
What have you learned by remaining teachable?
How willing are you to listen to what others say about you?