Four Ways To Develop Yourself As A Leader – Coaching Session


Four ways that you develop yourself as a leader…I wish I could say there were 17 ways. I can narrow it down to four. I say this in my sleep. I have to, you know, own it myself.

1.) Read everything you can read on the subject of leadership. Don’t read recreationally about leadership. The biggest mistake leaders make…they read recreationally about leadership. You read about leadership as a discipline. So you say… ‘I’m going to do a book a month’ or ‘I’m going to do a book every three months’, and you don’t wait ‘til you feel like it. You go, ‘Hey, I take a shower every day, I feed my face every day. If I’ve been entrusted with the leadership gift I’ve got to read a leadership book about once a fill in the blank, okay. And you read as a discipline.

2.) Second, go where leadership is taught. So one of the reasons why we believe in the Global Leadership Summit like we do is because when you get world-class leaders and world-class communicators you learn world-class lessons. Here we are three years later talking about a 30-minute talk that we all saw on a screen and it’s influencing us today. That’s the power of it. So go where leadership is taught. You go there as a discipline. You don’t go there thinking, ‘Hey I think that’s going to be fun’. You go, ‘Hey I think I need some input’, okay.

3.) Third, so read everything you can read about leadership. Go where leadership is taught. Third. Get around people who are ahead of you as leaders and ask them smart questions. The way I usually do this is I’ll contact someone who’s ahead of me in leadership and I’ll say, “I’ve respected you, I’ve watched you, etc, etc, I’ll buy you lunch. I’ll ask you three questions. It won’t take any more than 45 minutes to an hour. No expectation beyond that. I’m not going to ask you to ‘re-parent’ me, I’m not going to ask you to, you know, be a pen pal. All I’m going to do, I won’t waste your time. You’re ahead of me as a leader. I’m going to ask you three questions and it will be a huge contribution to my life. Can I buy you lunch?” Okay.

4.) The fourth, the fourth is to keep leading whatever you’re leading as intensely as you can possibly lead it. Most of you are leading something. A high percentage of what you’re going to learn as a leader comes from showing up to work every day… and the phrase we use around Willow…’we are all incessant tinkerers’. Incessant tinkerers! If stuff’s going good at Willow, we still show up every day and go, ‘we can make it 2% better’. We’re incessant tinkerers. Anybody on our staff, and this is a staff value of ours. So if anyone on our staff goes, “Hey you know what, I got it up and going. It’s on cruise control and that’s cool.” You go, ‘not in our culture it’s not. There’s always another 2% you can get out of anything. We want you to find that 2%. Make it stronger, faster. Make it available to more people. Make it deeper, make it Godlier, make it whatever, but nobody is allowed to be on cruise control. We are always tinkering to try to make something better for God’s glory. So but anyway, read everything you can read on leadership. Go where leadership is taught. Find someone who’s ahead of you, ask them smart questions. And lead with your work gloves, work boots on as best you can every day and you will get better.

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