Monday, January 16, 2012

Leaders are Learners

One of my first classes in Bible college I remember the dean of the school teaching and during the class he said something to the effect of: "Leaders are learners."  After that he made sure to clarify that just because someone is a learner it does not mean they are a leader.  I have pondered those words for the last ten years of my life.

See I am in a leadership position at my church and I have done my best to be a leader that is constantly learning.  As I look at most people in the world we tend to lead in some area or another.  Maybe you find yourself leading in your job or on the sports team you are a part of.  Some people are leaders in the church and others are leaders in the home.  Men we are called to be leaders in our marriage and leaders of our family.

Today I want to focus on two areas of leadership that I see needing more leadership:

Most people that I meet with are leaders in their job.  I think they are leaders, in their job, for two main reasons.  The first reason is they took the time to learn the position.  They may have attended school to learn the necessary skills to manage others in their work place.  They may have grown up in the industry and therefore it was just natural for them to lead because they know more than others.  Other people find themselves in a leadership role because they chose to learn the position and rose up as the the best candidate.

Secondly, I think that people are leaders in their job because God has gifted them to love on others and be compassionate for people.  In a book called "Good to Great" they survey all these top companies across North America and found out that the best leaders always pointed their success to the team around them.  When something went bad they took a long look in the mirror to see if the problem was them.  These people are true leaders, that are learning, to lead better in their job.  These are the kind of leaders we need leading today.

I have worked with students for over ten years and I love it when I see a student lead on their sports team. These are the students that take the time to learn about their teammates.  They learn what the people on their team are good at.  They learn about them off the field and make a real connection with them.  For leaders this is not something that is difficult for them to do; it is something that comes naturally.  I think for real leaders this is something they want to do!  They want to learn about others so they can connect with them and help them become better people.

These are the kind of students that are comfortable moving across boundaries in the social order.  These students are the ones who do their best to get other connected and feel a sense of unity.  I think they are the students that are saving other students from committing suicide and making horrible choices in their life.  They care so much about others that they are willing to look like a fool to help someone else connect and feel secure.  These are the kind of students that we need leading in schools to help others feel a part of something bigger than themselves.

Tomorrow I want to talk more about the subject of leadership but today I will leave you with a question: "If you a leader (in any capacity) how are you learning to help better those around you?"

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