Leaders are learners. When we stop learning, we’ll soon quit leading…leading well at least. The thing that I’ve learned from some of the best leaders I’ve ever been around is that they’re willing to learn from anyone. It doesn’t have to be an “expert” in a field or even a leader, but they’re willing to learn from those they lead and those that have something to teach.
I think one of the reasons we often fail at learning is because we get prideful in our leading. We can get so busy with the day to day that we’re unwilling to slow down, humble ourselves, and seek counsel and seek leadership wisdom.
When I think about the leaders that I’ve learned the most from, I see that they are always willing to leverage those around them. If someone knows a department better, they let them do it. If someone around them has experience with a certain situation, they seek counsel or let them take care of it.
This is a big part of empowering leadership. So often we think empowering others is telling them how to do something, but it’s usually found more in letting those we lead leverage their gifts and experiences as only they can. They’ll only be empowered to grow when they’re leveraged to lead themselves.
I’m so grateful for the leaders that I’ve followed that were looking for future leaders and even replacements for themselves. Good leaders don’t create organizations or followers, they create leaders. We should always be on the lookout for leaders, for people that could possibly one day be alongside of us.
It’s much easier, too, to look for current leaders and bring them in than it is to look for potential leaders and develop them. Great leaders DEVELOP leaders, not just hire them. Development requires time and patience, but it’s worth it.
By no means am I saying that all great leaders are the same. That’s crazy. I do think, though, that these three things are usually done by great leaders.
What would you add?
This article originally appeared here.