The Surprising Path to the Top
Top tier leaders develop their leadership; bottom tier leaders don’t. Lousy leaders don’t develop their leadership.
Those who need it most – want it least.
Those who need it least – want it most.
Ask yourself, “What am I doing to develop my leadership?” Lousy leaders don’t have an answer.
I talked with Marshall Goldsmith, yesterday. Harvard Business Review named him the number one leadership thinker in the world. Marshall said the best always strive to be better.
Surprising path to number one:
Marshall said I always learn more from the people I coach than they learn from me. He’s not minimizing his value. It helps that he only works with top leaders of top organizations in the world.
Grow your leadership by growing others.
Help yourself by helping others. Teachers learn more than students.
The surprising path to the top is helping others to the top.
Unselfishly develop yourself by unselfishly developing others.
Know less. Even if you think you know, listen and learn.
In and out:
People ask me how I come up with a leadership post six or seven times a week. I always answer the same way. I’m putting more in my cup than I’m taking out. A conversation with Marshall Goldsmith is one example.
Keep filling and pouring out of your cup.
Writing Leadership Freak is part of my leadership development. You think I do it for others and that’s true. I also do it for me. What I take in, I give out.
Here’s a tool to help you develop others and yourself: “Managers as Mentors,” by Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith.
How are you developing your leadership?
Leadership is never handled. The minute you think it is, you’ve stopped being a leader.
Karin’s blog: http://letsgrowleaders.com/
How are you developing your leadership?
Good post, as always Dan, and it seems to be a theme of many blogs in the past few weeks.
To be good leaders we need to always be in the process of learning and teaching. We need to actively pursue learning more about our craft, but even more importantly about the people we lead and serve.
We can also actively teach or mentor others, but our every day actions, choices and words speak and teach volumes.
We must be ever vigilant about learning, and exemplifying (as well as living) the behavior(s) we wish to see or engender in others.
I love the expression… “always be in the process of learning and teaching” Nailing it!
For new readers, Martina is a regular contributor on Leadership Freak. Her blog: http://martinamcgowan.com/
Thank you Daniel, my pleasure to read and contribute.
Absolutely, Dan! I always learn more by teaching a subject than by sitting through a lecture. It’s always easier to pick up a trait or skill by doing it than by hearing or reading about it. And writing a blog, as you mention, is the same way! Thanks for sharing your journey with us and for being vulnerable and honest about your own growth.
Thanks for jumping in and for being a regular here, Justin.
Justin’s blog: http://buckleadership.wordpress.com/
Thanks, Dan. I always enjoy reading from and interacting with you.
WOW! I can not tell you how timely this is!! THANK YOU!
Dan, My business partner and I hired the former President of Dunn and Bradstreet when we were just starting our business. He made more than we did together working with us just 12 days a year. And it was worth every dollar. The level of development and acceleration was unimaginable.
Like you, I cannot imagine doing the work we do without writing. It is what keeps me fresh and provides deliberate practice to the profession.
Not only is Marshall Goldsmith insightful what I like most about him is his approachability. Thanks for sharing your insight. awesome!
When there’s no plan to grow, you begin to fail. The old saying is true about failing to plan…and it applies to leadership.
We have to create an atmosphere of growth. We have create that environment that allows us the opportunity. If we’re too busy “leading” that we aren’t focusing on our growth, then we really aren’t “leading.”
Not only are you short-changing those you lead, you are killing your potential. It’s the surest way to hit your lid way too early.
I jumped on the Managers as Mentors book link and read “As with previous editions, a fictional case study of a mentor-protégé relationship runs through the book”. I have such an avid aversion to reading fiction that I skipped the purchase.
The best mentoring relationships I’ve enjoyed are when I couldn’t tell who was mentoring who!.. I’ve learned a lot about seeing things in a different light from folks younger than me (sometimes thirty years younger!) Unselfishness and openness to hearing and understanding another viewpoint/experience/insight is vital. This is where “its not about me” is tested practically.
I asked a colleague what they got out of a situation this morning and I had three things I wanted to make sure they identified. They had 5…. looks like I learned 2.
Totally agree I learn so much from teaching way more than I could ever learn on my own. It is pretty awesome to have new people.
Good stuff for consideration, as always, Dan.
I got spun up this morning with a brief article by Ms. Charlie Osborne, a young contributor to SmartPlanet.
From her post, I connected to other research and it led to me posting up a blog about why psychopaths make great people for performance-related issues — well, not ALL of them and not all the time. But it is about sociopathic and psychopathic behaviors for leadership and about being a little psychopathic yourself, I guess. Take a look! And there are interesting links to other research, too!
I am reading Managers as Mentors right now!
Thanks Dan! Great insight! Martina, it’s a theme of many blogs because we have such underdeveloped leaders today. Many take leadership and the skills and experience necessary to lead for granted. The result is a poor climate of leadership. I enjoyed the Emotional Intelligence post on LinkedIn by Daniel Goleman. It is necessary 8n today’s work environment. Without it, we have leaders who neglect the “person” of employees focusing on the talent. Some organizations are losing great and potential leaders due to Lousy leadership, which includes a lack of emotional intelligence!