As Long as You Lead, Keep Learning How to Lead

stepping stones

Leadership is the gift you unpack every day.

It’s the same but it’s never the same.

Always something new to learn.

Something new to try.

It will surprise you.

Frustrate you.

Move you.

Just when you think you’ve got it sorted out.

It suddenly slips through your fingers.

The answer you had in mind,

Doesn’t work this time.

So you adapt.

You learn.

That’s the nature of life.

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” – Seneca

Leadership is not a formula.

Leadership is organic.

What worked for someone else,

Might not work for you.

Or where you are.

So open your mind.

And open your eyes.

Listen.

Take it all in.

Try to find the path,

That’s right for you.

And right for them.

  • Keep learning how to lead yourself.
    The first and most important part of the journey is growing in self-awareness and building the internal compass and character that will guide you through the experiences you will face. This too is a process that never ends as long as you remain open, flexible and willing to change with each new discovery.
  • Keep learning how to lead others.
    People will stretch you to your limits. They will challenge you, teach you and inspire you. There are endless opportunities to expand your impact and your influence. Because you can’t see yourself clearly, nor fully understand what others feel or need, it is important to pay attention and try to see things from their point of view.
  • Keep learning how to lead the way.
    Take the risk to open up about what you see as possible and beneficial then engage others in sharing their opinions and ideas. With each new attempt at building support and engaging others in a plan to achieve meaningful goals, you will grow in your ability to influence and facilitate change.
  • Keep learning how to lead from your heart.
    Sometimes, what seems like the obvious choice may not be the best choice. You will experience situations where you heart and mind may feel like they are in conflict. Going with your intuition can seem like a risk, and there is no guarantee things will work out, but in the end, you will only learn to trust yourself if you practice following you heart.
  • Keep learning how to lead from your values.
    With every new leadership role, your values will be tested. Count on it. How you respond to each situation, and the choices you make, will impact your credibility, trust, and self-esteem. Sometimes your values may put you at odds with people in authority or with the culture of an organization. This can be among the toughest learning experiences you will face.
  • Keep learning how to lead from your dreams.
    Don’t lose touch with the image of who you want to be and the things you want to accomplish and experience. Take the time to consider how you can weave your life goals into your leadership practice. Share your dreams with those you serve and invite them to share their dreams with you. Learn how helping others reach their dreams will help you reach your own.

As long as you lead, keep learning how to lead.

7 Comments

  1. Ah, lifelong learning. That’s the best!

  2. Good post Scott.
    I agree 100% with your following quote: “Sometimes your values may put you at odds with people in authority or with the culture of an organization. This can be among the toughest learning experiences you will face.”
    I did face these odds from time to time in my last 22 years as being French in an Anglo-Saxon environment. It was always during tough periods mainly when everyone was under pressure to deliver something. Every time I was re-calibrated by my management and it did help my to learn about myself and improve my behaviour. However, even after these experiences, it still happening… still and ever place for improvement. 🙂

    • Scott Mabry

      March 29, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks Thierry – I think we’ve all had those experiences at one time or another. Always difficult to decide how much is too much and by what means you can express your values without creating too much difficulty for yourself or others. Sometimes it can be too much and we may have to look for a place that is more aligned with our values orientation. At other times we may have to find ways to express our values where we can, knowing that in other situations they may not be respected or appreciated. We learn to adapt while trying not to compromise beyond the point where we feel we are giving up too much or things that are too important. In every case it is definitely a learning experience. Very few people or organizations have values that are 100% aligned.

  3. From an ABC analysis point of view, it is clear that Leadership is the A item that reflects 80% of the value. Leadership, along with an integrated logistics (or supply Chain) view, are the two central themes of our Logistics Management Program at Norco College – – Rex Beck, Lead Faculty Member
    http://academic.norcocollege.edu/logisticsmanagement/

  4. This is so true Scott, “Just when you think you’ve got it sorted out. It suddenly slips through your fingers.”

    Leadership is like life – if you stop learning and growing you are dying.

    • Scott Mabry

      April 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Thanks, Chery. I get that feeling quite often. 🙂
      Learning is what keeps us going. Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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