A leader needs to be a learner. And the learning needs to be constant. It proves itself to be true over and over again that you can learn from anyone in any leadership position. In fact, some of the greatest leadership lessons I have gained have been from those who felt they were in “lower” positions. The idea of this was driven home for me when LifeWay Research (which I was a part of for three years) did the study for Transformational Church. Many of the pastors that we interviewed based on the health of their church would ask, “Why me? Why are you interviewing a pastor like me in a normal church like this?” What they did not know is just how important their leadership was to the life a church that we needed to learn from.
Leaders, as a group, look for the superstars among our particular type of organization and learn from that perceived top echelon. Pastors are no different. So, my encouragement is that no matter what work you do, learn from everyone you can.
As I’ve been mulling over how I can more intentionally learn from others, I began putting together a list of questions that I hope to pose to more and more people. When I meet other leaders, here’s what I want to know.
1. What book has had the greatest impact on your understanding of leadership?
2. What are the most important “nuts and bolts” lessons that you can give me?
3. What are your reading habits?
4. What blogs do you read on a regular basis?
5. Who are the historical figures who have influenced you the most?
6. What other arenas of leadership to look to learn from?
7. Tell me about the pieces of technology, apps, and software that help you the most.
8. Did anyone put you through an intentional plan for leadership development? What was the plan?
9. Do you have a plan to intentionally develop yourself as a leader?
10. Do you have a plan to intentionally develop others into leaders?
11. How do you separate yourself effectively from work to rest?
12. What are your main goals in leadership?
13. Describe your process for developing a vision and mission for your organization.
14. What is your daily schedule of work?
15. How do you design and hold a great meeting?
16. Do brainstorming meetings really work? If so, how do you do one well?
17. What do you do with a team member who has bad chemistry with the rest of the team?
18. What offenses require you to immediately terminate someone’s employment?
19. What are the best hiring practices and processes you’ve used or seen?
20. How do you admit and fix a problem in your leadership?
21. What do you want to go back and change?
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