Leaders can learn and grow through conferences, books and mentoring relationships.
But, with the right approach, leaders can and do learn every day and in every situation.
As I’ve been writing all week, my just completed leadership trip through Australia and India provided scores of leadership learning moments. If you missed any of these earlier posts, check out the first set of learnings here, the second set here, and the third set here.
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.
Some of my most important learnings on this trip were reserved for the final leg of the journey…
Day 13: Great leaders think beyond their roles
You’ll never hear the words, “That’s not in my job description” from an effective leader.
From Cochin we traveled to Hyderabad, where I met with a leader who was having an impact far beyond his role as a Youth Ministry leader in his church.
While still building a fantastic youth ministry, he was also impacting the entire region with innovative initiatives that extended far beyond his own church.
Roles matter. But leaders should never be limited by them.
Day 14: High impact teams are defined by clarity of purpose
The trip wrapped up in Hyderabad with two days of strategic planning with our Global Leadership Summit India team.
This team has helped to grow the GLS from 6 sites in 2013 to 60 sites planned for 2016. And much of this impact has flowed from the singularity of purpose with which the team continues to operate, namely to transform India by growing the GLS.
Such clarity drives team effectiveness.
Day 15: Expressing Gratitude is a Core Function of Authentic Leadership
On our final full day together I was able to take our India staff, and their families, out for a celebration dinner.
The only item on the agenda; saying a heartfelt “Thank you” for their diligence and faithful service.
You can’t provide authentic leadership without saying “Thank you”.
Day 16: There are opportunities for leaders to grow every single day.
I wrapped up this trip where it all began; revisiting my resolve to look for leadership growth opportunities every day.
As I departed India I took time to review my notes.
And I recognized that, by maintaining a posture of learning, indeed I had encountered key leadership growth moments every single day.
My ultimate take-away from all of this?
Daily leadership growth need not take place in the far flung reaches of the globe.
There are opportunities for leaders to grow every day, no matter where you are.
It’s simply a question of maintaining a learning posture, and of recognizing and applying such learnings.
Let the learning continue…