Leaders are Always Hungry

No, this is not about all you can eat buffets or the “miss-a-meal” cramps. This is about leadership character.

It’s a given that any leader has followers regardless of their position or title.  What is quickly forgotten is that followers only follow when the leader has something to give.

To illustrate this concept I’ll borrow a story from John Maxwell and his invitation to participate in a golf Pro-Am tournament.  John tells by the end of the day, he was giving leadership lessons to all the golfers but not a single person asked him about golf.  Why did that happen? John was wise in leadership but average with golf.

This story tells me leaders are forced to continuously grow and develop new skills.  This pressure is caused by the followers’ need for guidance, training, and development.

So how do we stay hungry? Two ideas.

Practice “I Don’t Know”

I have discovered that I make better decisions when I pretend to be ignorant.  Pretending allows me to focus on understanding the perspective of others and to truly comprehend their situation.  By understanding other’s world am able to choose options that benefit everyone.

Focus on the Journey

Live in the moment.  By allowing ourselves to fully experience the process of achieving our goals we create the memories that ultimately help us learn from our successes and failures.  To me the win is just a moment but the journey can be a lifetime lesson.

These 2 ideas help me just enough to maintain focus on a never ending process.

  • “I don’t know” helps keep my ego in check.  I can gladly say I don’t know enough about something and be open to other opportunities.  “Been there done that” is not my way.
  • Focusing on the journey helps me identify my strengths, weaknesses, passions, and interests.  I get to find usefulness in the small steps taken and the minor adjustments made along the way.  It helps me understand that learning is a journey not a destination.

“Leaders who desire wisdom must become predatory in their search for wisdom.” – Mark Miller

What are you doing to gain wisdom?

If you want to read more about wisdom check out Mark’s post or his new book “The HEART of Leadership

 

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2 thoughts on “Leaders are Always Hungry

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  1. Thanks for sharing. I like the point about “I don’t know” however I don’t know that I like the word pretend. You can seek to understand without pretending. Part of listening is to be present and not to provide a solution seeking to understand all points of view.

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