Growth: The Fourth Responsibility of a Leader

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”~John F. Kennedy

Followers expect leaders to model the values they promote.  If you value learning, then as a leader you should be continuously learning.  Why?  Having current knowledge affects your leadership effectiveness.  Leaders have to stay current in their field; without a continuing education program, leaders lose their edge.  

One of the things that give companies the competitive edge is their leader’s ability to stay current with the latest information, technology, industry thought, etc.  Leaders who isolate themselves from other leaders  in their field, lag behind in productivity which erodes the ability of the company to sustain its growth.  Leaders may not implement current trends but they should not be ignorant of current trends.

My children laugh at me when I tell them I’m going to get another degree; they know that at any given moment I can be reinolved in the learning process.  I have an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctoral degree.  Why? because I value education.  I believe that learning and leadership are intertwined; you can’t have one without the other.  Although I may not be involved in a degree program,  I seek other learning opportunities that help develop my personal growth as a leader.

That is one reason that a few months after I completed my second masters degree, I invested in a leadership coaching program.  True to form, my children said, “We knew it daddy!”  “You just an’t stop learning.”  As of August 2013, I am a Certified Coach, Speaker, and Trainer with the John Maxwell Group.  Not all learning occurs in a formal program of learning, I get that.  Yet, formal coursework challenges a leader to attain new perspectives based on the latest research and newest technologies.

Coaching is a great way for leaders to improve their effectiveness, but a good coach will help leaders see that education is vital to their success.  There are no shortcuts to education; mentoring, coaching, and counseling serve supportive roles.  Education is foundational to the effectiveness of a leader.  I wholeheartedly support and value education; I believe all leaders should.

 

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