I chair two CEO/Business Owner peer groups for Vistage International. It is a great work that I truly find rewarding on many levels. One of the many benefits of this experience is listening to a wide variety of subject matter expert speakers and having a vast pool of knowledgeable colleagues to tap into. A few stand out from this exceptional crowd including the speaker we had yesterday – Pat Murray. I have a learned a great deal from him about leadership and group dynamics over the past 9 years. When you are in the presence of an expert, make sure you listen to him/her.
Leaders aren’t supposed to know it all, but they should be exceptional learners. There are ample opportunities to learn and grow every day. There are some things that will come easy to you and others that will take a bit more effort. You may not even know what you don’t know. The key is to keep working at it. Learning as you go can be a valuable exercise, but it also helps to seek out the best and brightest thought leaders in a given topic area and learn from them.
We are all a work in process and if you are smart, you will appreciate that the work will never be completely finished. I’ve had many mentors and teachers who have positively influenced my life. While I tend to be a verbal person who likes to share my own opinions and experiences, I strive to be smart enough to know when to solicit the input of others and enhance my own understanding. The struggle for many leaders is differentiating what they think from what they actually know. It is expected that you will have strong opinions, but leading solely based on opinions is a slippery slope that will ultimately lead you to confront head on the gaps in your own knowledge.
If you make the effort to seek out wisdom from those who are more experienced and better informed on a topic than you, it will literally change your life for the better. You will uncover shortcuts to happiness and success. Life will seem less arduous and more manageable. You will become a better leader who has enhanced his/her own capacity to handle whatever challenges/opportunities come your way.
- The Discipline of Listening in the Social Media Age (customerthink.com)
- Leadership Thought #387 – 7 Ways To Avoid Getting Stale As A Leader (edrobinson.wordpress.com)
- Leaders are Learners (life-counseling.org)
- What is an Expert? [Geoff Kirkwood] (ecademy.com)
- Learning To Be A CEO (Create Your Own Network) (women2.com)