As a leader we spend a lot of time watching those we lead.
As important as that might be, it is equally important to be watching those from whom we can learn. Great leaders find ideas and insights by watching other leaders.
As leaders, we can learn from many of the people and circumstances around us. What I find as a key difference between leaders and managers is how and where they choose to learn.
Managers are content to believe they know already what they need to know. Leaders, on the other hand, realize they don’t know everything and they are always on the prowl to learn more.
When managers do choose to learn, they tend to keep it narrow and very close to what it is they do. Leaders look wide to learn. By this I mean they see value in being able to observe what leaders are doing in areas vastly different from their area.
When we observe other leaders, the key becomes to watch for insights and ideas that we can then apply to our circumstances. Watch how other leaders handle various situations, both good and bad. Leaders we observe can be those we see in the news from afar or they could be other leaders within our own company or community.
As you observe, do so with an open mind in order to be receptive to possibilities you hadn’t previously considered. Too many times we fail to learn, because we’re busy passing judgment as to how we would have handled a similar situation.
Each day we encounter leaders, and because of that, each day becomes a day we can learn something. Open your eyes to your surroundings, and you might be surprised at what you learn.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.