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Real Leaders Never “Arrive”

Real Leaders Never “Arrive”

The best leaders never stop learning. More specifically, the best leaders never waste opportunities to learn from others.

This was demonstrated to me powerfully twice in the span of about a week. I am on the board of missions non-profit. There are some really experienced leaders on this board, dynamic folks who are very good at what they do. Part of the board meeting was an executive coaching exercise where we problem-solved various real-life issues in the organizations we lead. I watched as these leaders encouraged and allowed other leaders to speak into their lives. I was amazed at how humbly these leaders accepted the influence of their fellow board members. I was reminded of how important it is to always be growing as a leader.

Fast forward about a week. I was at another ministry leadership conference where we heard from a veteran pastor who is a true expert in leadership. I took page after page of notes, soaking up the wisdom that was being dropped on this room of leaders who are exceptional in their own right. But I couldn’t help but notice a handful of guys in the room that were disengaged. They were distracted and restless. Not only were they not taking notes, they weren’t listening. One I could see was goofing off on social media.

While I won’t go so far as to judge anyone’s motives, it just served as a reminder of the importance of never missing an opportunity to grow as a leader.

If we ever think we’ve arrived, that we’ve finally made it, we should expect to see a decline in our influence and effectiveness.

  1. From a biblical standpoint, Jesus modeled a servant-centered leadership. Last I checked, there is no expiration on servanthood. You never serve enough that you get to stop serving.
  2. From a relational standpoint, if you want the people you lead to be fulfilled, empowered, and encouraged, you have to have a posture of humility and teachability. 
  3. From an organizational standpoint, ministries thrive with fresh perspectives and fresh ideas. If you’re not open to learning from others, those fresh perspectives won’t come from you. And as a leader, that shouldn’t be something you’re OK with. 

Teachability. Humility. Curiosity. These are powerful values in a leader. What is keeping you from modeling them in your leadership?


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