When I coach, mentor, or train up and coming leaders, they all want to know ‘What is the secret to success? What makes a successful leader tick’? These are the leaders of the future, and they have a strong desire to make sure their leadership is not just a title, or the next rung on the corporate ladder.
They want to lead because they are worthy of being followed.
There are many components of a successful leader, but the number one quality that they all share, and all must have, is this:
Leaders are learners.
Successful leaders intentionally and purposefully put themselves in a position where their skills can be shaped and refined.
They know for a fact that they are not perfect. They are not content to stay in ignorance.They are fully aware of the responsibility that rests firmly on their shoulders, and they study to make sure that they are capable of handling that responsibility.
Here is what successful leaders are not: loners. They are wise enough to be accountable to a team of influencers, and humble enough to realize that they do not have all the answers.
What steps are you taking to learn leadership skills?
Who are you accountable to?
Are you willing to listen to those who have gone before you–and succeeded?
A successful leader looks towards the future–and I do not mean ‘they spend their time daydreaming’. I mean they look toward those who have walked this path before them and learn from their successes and failures.
You are not the first one to walk this road.
You do not have to fall into the same ditch, or make the same wrong turns, as the people who went before you.
And leadership is a journey! There will be many obstacles. There will be plenty of setbacks. However, you can be proactive, and spend your time *learning* how to anticipate and deal with those obstacles–or you can be shocked when they happen, and wonder what to do next.
Leaders are learners, And successful leaders must have a plan in place to develop leadership skills. Successful leaders know that if they do not change, nothing will.
What plans do you have over the course of the next year, that are specifically related to learning?
Leadership Development does not happen by accident–it must be intentional. It does not happen in a day–it takes time, practice, and perseverance.
Leadership Development is not a luxury–it is a necessity if you are going to be someone worth following.
Remember what John Maxwell said: ‘Everything rises and falls upon leadership’. And a leader is someone who takes people to a place they could not have gone alone.
If you intentionally set out to be a learner, you will be a successful leader. You will not just be coping, treading water, or making it through to the weekend–you will be thriving.