In our high powered, fast-paced world of electronic presentations, it is easy to forget some of the basic elements of leadership. The latest fads, buzz words or methods of presentation often overshadow some of the basics of true leadership. This communication and upcoming ones serve as reminders of the simple aspects that are part of the life of every effective leader.
In order to stay with the theme of simplicity, we will use the letters of the word “leader” as an outline. Obviously, at the beginning we will start with the letter “L” as in “L”eader. The final submission in this series will be the letter “R” as in leade”R.”
“L” represents two things in the life of a good leader. Good leaders are skilled listeners. Becoming a good listener is not an easy task. Many leaders are insecure and have a need for control. Therefore, they want to do all the talking in order to keep control. But a secure, mature leader knows the value of listening. They are willing to actively listen in ways which others do not. They hear what others are saying and what they are not. Much of their wisdom to lead comes from their willingness to sharpen their skills of listening.
Secondly, the “L” in leader suggests that he or she is a lifelong learner. The leader’s educational experience never ends. Whether this learning takes place individually or in a group, an effective leader understands the importance of an ongoing journey that challenges, stimulates and propels him or her forward both personally and professionally. Though listening and learning are both simple and overlooked aspects of leadership, do not underestimate their power and importance.