Monday, March 9, 2015

The 3 C's of Leadership; Part 3

There is no such thing as a “born leader.” There are people with personality types and temperaments that we more associate with leadership than others. But leaders, personality types aside, are developed over time.

Since leaders are developed through a process of growth, learning, practice, failure, success, more learning, more practice, more failure and success leading to more growth, there are a lot of variables at play in that development.  What if they learn the wrong things? What if they practice what is not necessary or receive poor instruction from a role model, mentor, teacher or other influencer?

The 3rd “C” – Competency
If this happens, then all the character and clarity in the world will not matter. A leader cannot succeed without rubber-meets-the-road competency.  A leader has to know what she or he is doing, be doing it for the right reasons, and be good at it. So how is this done?

My own experience is that a leader, or a person growing into a leader, needs to be attentive to these things:

Finding a Mentor
Not everyone will want or be able to be a mentor. That is just as well. If they cannot or will not, you probably do not want them anyway. Great leaders want to invest in the next generation of leadership. If they do not want to make the investment, they are not likely to be a great leader, and why would you want that person as your mentor? So in addition to find a person with proven clarity, character and competency of her or his own, you want to find someone who is willing to invest in you. If you are already in leadership, find a more seasoned leader for this role, or even a peer group of other trusted leaders who can speak into your life and leadership.

Make Growth Top Priority
Whatever is not growing is likely dying. But the hard thing about growth is that it always means change. And when we get comfortable, we resist change. There is a reason that the #1 best-selling brand of easy chair (not “challenging” chair) is La Z Boy. Author, John Ortberg comments on this saying that the company is not called “Risky Boy” or “Danger Boy,” but La Z Boy, because that is
the goal – to be lazy.  It is a risk to get out of the easy chair and embrace change and growth and new learning and the inevitable failures you will experience. But these experiences, if you are wise, will teach you more than sitting in a comfortable, familiar, safe and inviting chair ever could. Not many victories are won in a recliner.

Never Stop
Remember that the goal is always growth. There is no final destination for a leader. Each goal set before you is only a rest stop. You arrive, stop and look around, take time to be refreshed and celebrate your progress and achievement, and then get back on the road to the next stop on your journey of growth.

As you grow in the clarity of your vision, the quality of your character and the development of your competency, may you find you in the journey and have the confidence to know that your life and your work matter and make a difference. And may your life and legacy be a blessing to this world and the people you love.

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