I have found that Leaders are Learners.
The greatest leaders were fanatic learners. Abraham Lincoln was—we all know how far he would go just to get a book. John F. Kennedy was, I’ve read that he in fact was a speed reader, consuming books like they were food. I’ve read that Phil Knight, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are all readers.
There are many ways to learn: podcasts, blogs, articles, books, Ted Talks, and seminars are the most common. I’m an advocate of books and intense seminars because it’s hard to mine the depts of a subject with podcasts and Ted Talks.
Learners have leverage. Not because they know more but because they understand more. They have a greater sense of things because of what they know. They can lead better because they’ve studied and understand what effective leadership is verses ineffective leadership. They understand how to build culture because they’ve studied culture. They know the best way to a customer’s heart because they’ve gone deep into the human psyche to understand what makes us tick.
The leverage that learners have is not power over someone or a team or organization, but wisdom. Wisdom that has understanding. Wisdom that sees the big picture. Wisdom that gives perspective. Wisdom that goes beyond the status quo and looks for creative and innovative ways to do things.
As you enter 2020, have a plan on what you will learn as a leader….and your leverage will increase.