25 May 2011

Learning before Leading

These last few months have been amazing and busy for me. In February I started a new job. Finally that perfect place in community development I'd been searching and preparing for for so long. But with anything new comes the inevitable feelings of stepping outside some boundaries. A new office, new coworkers, a new routine. Exciting and scary all at the same time.

So, the question I've been asking myself lately is "can you lead while you are learning?". Or perhaps the better way to ask it is "how can you lead even while you are learning?". Although I'm stretching and growing in new ways every day there are people looking to me to make effective decisions. Some days I feel like I've got way more questions than answers and I'm not sure I'll ever learn all there is to learn.

Here are some things that ring true for me right now:

1) Even leaders don't always have the answers.
2) If you don't know, admit it. People can smell B.S. a mile away. Then go find the answer!
3) Leaders never fear allowing others to have the spotlight. It builds the team.
4) Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

I'm really grateful to be working with a group of people that lead in a thousand outstanding ways. Staff and volunteers alike amaze me with their passion and dedication. I've somehow managed to land in the middle of a great team of mentors, coaches and cheerleaders.

So, I'm soaking up this period of intense learning and growing. Watching people interact, leading and following, is a bit of a hobby of mine and I'm getting lots of great case studies! So, yes, there are effective ways to lead while you are learning. And sometimes allowing yourself to observe and learn is the best way to grow as a leader.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your list, however I would include a good leader says "thank you" and acknowledges effort, big or small. It builds confidence. Glad that your new job is working out for you.


About Me

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Houston, TX, United States
I've led a lot and followed plenty of times, too. All these experiences have given me some interesting perspective into what makes someone a leader worth following. And what constitutes ethical leadership? We usually can smell it when's it not, so let's find the examples in the world of people leading in an ethical and authentic way! My passion is community leadership but I think the lessons of leadership transcend place and specifics. I'd love to hear what you think about leadership!