Tag Archives: lead

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.

 

Motivated to Excellence by Fear

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” ~ (2 Tim 1:7, HCSB)

For as early as I can remember, I have always had this nagging fear of dying and no one knows me. Thus, I have not wanted a house in the country 2-3 miles from my neighbors. I have not wanted a job locked away in solitude to enjoy my work alone. I have wanted to do spectacular noticeable things to ensure someone would know I had lived.

In 2006, of all the things I could have done, I bought a house in the country.  It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath home on a country road in Greenville, Georgia.  For a time I was happy, but alas it is a place I realize I may never live in again.  My fears beckoned me to leave, to return to a place crowded with people.  I guess you could say, I am a city fellow now.  But I know its not because I like people, its because I fear being unknown, of being insignificant, of dying and no one attend my funeral.  

I was beckoned away from the country by a call to serve in Louisiana by a long-time friend.  The service I would render would increase my knowledge among an even wider audience.  I left without hesitation although I was already known by many people, one never can tell who will forget one.  So off I went to discover another place, I had left over 20 years before. Because of these fears, I have and continue to be motivated to excel. And this impetus keeps me moving forward ensuring others will deem me worthy to be remembered. 

I agree that God has not given us “the spirit of fearfulness” but I also agree that fear is a natural part of the human experience.  Fear motivates us to action.  Fear is an activator of our fight or flight reflex.  Since, God has gifted us with “love, power, and sound judgment” to fight our innate fears and win, I overcome my fear with faith – the courage to do it afraid.  I choose to fight my fears by excellence and trying to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.  I choose to exist as a leader, a person who advocates for others, and a person who ensures he is noticed in the world.  People have commended me on my efforts and told me they have been helped throughout my journey.  Yet, their applause was not what I wanted; it was their friendship.  I most of all want to be remembered because to be remembered is mmortality to me.