Never Stop Learning
At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. And as I told them at the very first huddle we shared together: Never Stop Learning.
Leaders are learners. Once you have stopped learning, you have stopped leading.
Being a learner means that we read. And we read as much as we can. We read in very focused areas of leadership growth and we cross-pollinate with other disciplines for creativity and to nurture new ways of thinking and problem-solving. We read the experts and we read the new brains on the block.
Being a learning means getting around the right people. Mentors. Coaches. Spiritual directors. And we ask them good questions. A learner always has questions ready to ask.
Being a learner means that we embrace a learning posture. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I have never met a man that was not my superior in some particular." In other words, each person we meet has the potential to teach us something. Make learning your passion and look for the lesson in every situation. Approach every situation as an opportunity to learn.
Finally, being a learner means that we honor the past while embracing the future. We cannot lead forward unless we look backwards. In appreciation for those who have gone before us and plowed the ground that has enabled us to do what we do. In humble assessment of the successes and failures so that we might not repeat their mistakes.
Never stop learning.