The CALL to Leadership (Learn Continuously)

There is one more characteristic of leadership that I want to discuss in this series, Learn Continuously. Leaders are learners. When you stop learning you should stop leading because you are no longer equipped to lead.

There are two aspects of learning that are vital to leadership. The first is personal effort. Bill Hybels the great leader that launched Willow Creek church and continues to invest in leaders around the world through the Willow Creek Association often says, “Leaders are readers.” He encourages leaders to have a book with them at all times and continuously invest in themselves by reading. When leaders stop learning they stop being effective in their leadership. They get bound to the way things used to be. They start implementing new ideas with old systems that were effective then but are irrelevant now. As a leader you need to develop a learning plan. To get you started here are a couple of books that I recommend. Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels. Visioneering by Andy Stanley. The Leadership Pipeline by Ram Charan.

The second place leaders need to focus on learning from is their team. If you’re the only one with good ideas on your team you either need a new team or need to get over yourself. The leader should never be the person with the all of the best ideas. The leader should be the person with the vision for where the team is going and skill to guide the team to get there. The strategy should come from the best ideas from the team. The best way to develop your strategy is to cast the vision to your team then ask them how to get there. This will do several things. (1) It will help your team feel a sense of ownership for the vision. (2) It will force your team to stretch intellectually. (3) It will help you see who the leaders are in whom you need to invest. (4) It will help you learn to be a better leader.

This is your CALL to leadership, Care Relentlessly, Act Graciously, Lead Courageously, and Learn Continuously.

What other characteristics to you find essential to effective leadership?

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