I’ve learned a lot about leadership in my life primarily because I’ve wanted to learn! There are three lessons on leadership that I consider to be essential to developing as a leader.
First, you have to follow great leaders. Every leader is a follower, but not every follower is necessarily a leader. The best leaders can point to a coach, mentor, or other leader who has been instrumental in their development. Great leaders follow great leaders. I’m not suggesting I’m a great leader, but I do believe I’ve had some great leaders coach and mentor me.
Second, you have to preach what you practice. No, I didn’t misstate that. Sadly, too often leaders preach a message or demand of others things that they’re not putting into practice in their own life- this is highly hypocritical. What’s truly credible and critical to effective leadership is preaching what you’re already putting into practice.
Third, you have to see opportunities as responsibilities. Productive leaders don’t view opportunities as optional; they take responsibility and act accordingly. They seize the day, step up to the plate, see the potential. They even take responsibility to create opportunities. They know that you actively seek what you don’t have. They know that you only knock on doors that aren’t already open. They know that you ask the questions that you don’t already have the answer for.
That’s the three lessons on leadership that I think are profoundly important to learn!