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Leadership expert John Maxwell advises that leaders are not born; they develop. Further, leadership is something we develop over time. We may notice it in a single incident or in response to a particular challenge, but these actually are events when we see evidence of leadership that already lies within.

If we are committed to becoming better leaders, leadership is something we need to work at. Maxwell offers five keys to becoming the leader you want to be.

  1. Spend a little time every day learning something new. It may be observing a good leader, watching a leadership video, or reading an article. As little as an hour a day focused on building your skills will make a monumental difference in as little as a year.
  2. Be willing to keep trying, even if a new behavior or skill seems awkward. Growth comes when we are willing to go outside our comfort zone and take risks. Soon you will find that the change becomes a natural part of your behavior.
  3. Open yourself to new experiences but remained focused on learning. Maxwell notes that experience is the best teacher only if we are committed to being the best student. Listen, question, and learn to accelerate the process.
  4. Use what you learn to leverage even more learning. An interesting consequence of learning is that we often see how much more we can and need to learn. Use what you are learning to guide you toward what else you need to learn.
  5. Build your strengths rather than focusing on areas of weakness. Lessening a weakness can move it toward adequacy. Building a strength can lead to exceptionality. Obviously, a weakness that holds us back may need some attention, but it rarely will become the differentiator resulting in success.



Maxwell, J. (2013, Mar. 3). Without a plan, you’re growing nowhere. Leadership Wired. Retrieved from http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/without-a-plan-youre-growing-nowhere


Thought for the Week

Simply pulling a strategy “off the shelf” or defaulting to the most recently read article or staff development session topic may not generate the results we seek.

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