How do you grow as a leader? Read books, meet over coffee with like-minded friends, listen to God, get a life coach? Each of those in and of themselves are good but none of them alone is likely enough.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about this over the past year and it’s clear there are many ways leaders grow. Problem is, sometimes we only participate in one part of a multi-part ecosystem.
Some people learn from their participation in a peer group in which they learn from each other, dive into case studies, advise each other on business issues and more. Some people love their books (I’m guilty!) and can’t wait for the next self-help book or podcast to download. They are lifelong learners. Some of you have a coach and some of you have a mentor. Some of you have your DiSC or Myers–Briggs or 5 StrengthsFinder strengths posted on your office door.
Here’s the breaking news: none of these things by themselves are enough to help leaders grow holistically. You can always mislead your coach about how others view your leadership. Too many books puff you up with head knowledge if you’re not careful. Too much conflicting advice from peers can be confusing if God is not your ultimate source of direction.
I do know one thing – real learning happens over time in community. That’s why Jesus spent time with his closest followers. It’s why Jesus was full of wisdom as a young boy before he got to the church leaders; he was studying regularly. That’s why we often need an outside coach to help us get unstuck from our paradigm ruts. That’s why an outside consultant is helpful for what we don’t know how to fix alone.
One thing is also true: we all experience spiritually poverty. Are you honest enough with yourself to admit that because of man’s fall in the garden, you might experience weakness, unfulfilled needs, emotional injuries and pain at the hands of others, or your own immaturities and sins? We cannot always repair in our own strength. When we realize we need each other, it helps us get closer to God and to live in community.
At Convene, we have all these leadership learning modes in play with our members. Check us out and see how you might learn from a thought-provoking faith work article or engaging podcast. Maybe it’s time to join a peer to peer group of leaders, to journey with an executive coach that will help you get unstuck, or to hire a consultant to help you peer into the future. At Convene, we exist to help you in all these areas because we exist to help you grow as a leader.
Let’s do this together!
About the Author
Greg Leith is the CEO of Convene. He was born in Canada and lived in all four corners of North America. His career spans over 35 years of senior leadership roles in corporate, non-profit and academic sectors. Recently, he served as Director of Strategic Alliances for 13 years at Biola University in California.