Learning leaders are growing leaders. Most growing organizations I know are led by men and women who are constantly learning. They haven’t necessarily invented some new idea that no one has ever heard of. They have simply made a practice of learning from the best, ripping off great ideas, and then making them better. Here are Five Characteristics of Learning Leaders:
We lead ourselves before leading others.
The most difficult person we will ever lead is ourselves. Spend the first part of every day leading yourself: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically…you get my drift! Lead yourself before leading others. As you go the organization will go. As you grow the organization will grow!
We choose quality over quantity.
Sometimes a great quote is better than an entire chapter. Focus on applying what you read rather than how many books you read a year. Don’t feel guilty skimming a book. In most books, 20% of the content holds virtually 100% of the value! Choose quality over quantity!
We learn from many rather than one.
Don’t put all your eggs in the basket of one leader or model or ministry. Learn from lots of different expressions and models of leadership and ministry. Spend time every month looking for ways to get to know new leaders and being exposed to what they are doing. Don’t be a copycat leader. Be a learning leader. Learn from many rather than one.
We slow down and get out of town.
God speaks to me more when I am away. There’s no doubt about that. When I change my pace and my environment from time to time, my senses open up and my creativity spikes. If we go pedal to the metal all of the time, while managing all the minutia, we become a manager rather than a leader. We become a doer rather than a developer. The best leaders I know work hard and play hard. They live life in rhythm. When they re-engage, they are rested, renewed, and ready to tackle the next challenge. Slow down and get out of town. God will speak to you there!
We have coaches, not just consultants.
We don’t just need someone to give us a canned process. You don’t need a consultant. We need someone who will watch us play and then give us instruction every time we come off the court. We need someone to process ideas with. We need permission. We need perspective. We need a coach! Enough said.
Shawn Lovejoy is the Founder & CEO of CourageToLead.com a coaching ministry for leaders. He loves coaching leaders through what keeps them awake at night. CourageToLead employs multiple coaches all over the U.S to work one-on-one with leaders and ministries. Shawn’s new book for leaders: Be Mean About The Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters, released in April 2016. Shawn lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife Tricia, and their three kids Hannah, Madison, and Paul.