October 23, 2017

Teachability as a Leadership Virtue

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“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!” 
2 Peter 3:18

Next month, my dad will celebrate his 99th birthday.  He is one of my heroes—for many reasons—not the least of which is that my dad is a life-long learner.  My dad is still reading.  Dad reads the Bible and many other books.  My dad pays attention and asks good questions.  Dad sometimes talks about the things he is learning from going through pain and difficult circumstances.  Throughout dad’s 99 years, he has taken seriously the call to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Some of the people I respect most in this world are life-long learners.  These are people who know a lot, but they would be the first to admit they don’t know everything.  These are people who are really good leaders, but they would be the first to say there is much more to learn.  In fact, the people I have in mind relish the opportunity to learn and grow.  The best leaders I know stay curious about what is going on around them.  They also stay curious about what the Holy Spirit is doing in their own lives.

How about you?  Are you learning and growing?  Do you have a plan to help you grow?  Are you reading?  Do you regularly reflect on what is happening in your life and what God is up to in the middle of your circumstances?  Do you have a mentor or a coach?

If you are learning and growing, you are probably being invited into more and bigger challenges.  What is your strategy for living into those bigger challenges?  One of the things I am learning right now is that for me to be effective in the work God is asking me to do, I not only need to grow in knowledge and skills, I need to grow in my relationship with God.  I need to find ways to stay connected to God throughout my day, not just while I’m doing devotions.  I need the wisdom of God as I’m in conversations, as I’m making decisions, and as I’m trying to figure out ways of being in action.  In this way, my relationship with God becomes the foundation and bedrock of my learning, not just one component of my learning.

All this get me wondering, would the people we lead describe us as life-long learners?

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