It’s pretty safe to say that throughout the course of my career I’ve had quite a number of experiences, both good and bad. As a leader, manager, and salesman I’ve had to learn how to work and communicate with people on many different levels. I took some time to think back on my own experiences and want to share four key lessons that I’ve learned and hope you can learn from as well.
First of all, you are your own best teacher. The number of continuing education classes and workshops you attend will not define you as a person. Your ability to further your own knowledge by doing research and then applying what you’ve learned will enable you to teach yourself how to implement the things you’ve been shown.
Second, a good leader accepts responsibility for his actions and blames no-one else. Ever. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. A true leader recognises his own faults and takes responsibility for them instead of placing the blame on someone else. Did one of your team members make a mistake? If so, should you blame him or wonder if there was a problem with the training you gave him that caused him to make the mistake?
Next, recognize that you can learn anything you want to learn. Never feel as though you are stuck in a position or situation due to a lack of knowledge. There are enough classes, telecourses, and web resources available today for anyone on earth to learn just about anything. You have to find those resources and use them.
Finally, true understanding comes from your ability to reflect on the experiences you’ve had. A concept you may not have fully understood earlier in life may suddenly become clearer after you’ve had your own experiences. Your mental knowledge suddenly turns into wisdom.
Hopefully you’ll be able to start your week off by taking the time to reflect on your own experiences as a leader. How have you grown and evolved over the years? Have you learned anything about yourself?
Originally published: 27 April, 2009
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