Effective leaders keep their radar on “full alert” to spot opportunities to learn and grow.
Certainly my recent trip through Australia and India provided scores of such ongoing growth opportunities.
Regular readers of this blog and of my Twitter feed will know that my role with the Willow Creek Association involves quite a bit of global travel, working with our partners in the development of the Global Leadership Summit worldwide.
And so while this particular trip was simply another in a long line of such travels, this time I took with me a heightened intentionality to keep my “leadership learning” radar on full alert.
But some of the biggest growth opportunities were still to come…
Day 9: Everyone Wins when you Leverage Each Person’s Leadership
In Cochin, India, in the beautiful state of Kerala, the leadership of my colleague Varghese Chacko really began to have a multiplying effect.
Chacko, who was born in Kerala and who now lives in Chicago, took center stage when we visited Cochin, as he led us masterfully through a series of key meetings and connections.
Watching his leadership rise to another level it reminded me yet again what can be unleashed when each person is allowed to lead in their area of strength.
Day 10: Leaders Must Find Time to Re-fill Their Tanks
10 days into this trip, I was beginning to feel my leadership shoulders beginning to sag.
In earlier days I would have told myself to “suck it up” and push through. But this was out of naive stubbornness, not out of mature self-awareness.
These days I’ve learned to recognize the tell-tale signs of fatigue, and have learned to schedule times of soul replenishment.
In the beautiful state of Kerala we found the ideal opportunity to do just that, with a full day boat tour on the lush waterways of the region.
I emerged ready to tackle the rest of challenges that lay ahead.
Day 11: Leaders Can Learn from Anyone
The central purpose of our trip to Kerala was to participate with key church and denominational leaders in round-table discussions. On the table was the question, “How can the various denominations most effectively work together to impact all of India?”
There were very bright people there from every walk of life in India. And I was reminded yet again that leaders really can learn from everybody, if you carry a “learner’s mindset” with you.
Day 12: There is power in unity, not uniformity
The interdenominational meetings were true to their stated purpose. What was being sought was unity, not uniformity.
That is a critical leadership distinction. Uniformity invariably leads to bland mediocrity. Unity, on the other hand, can power movements that can produce lasting change.
All of this brought me to the mid-way point of my trip. But some of the most important leadership learnings were just around the corner.
More to come…