A few years ago, I started learning. I mean really learning. Not rote learning from textbooks or lectures, but lessons from the everyday. I’ve read more books in the last 2 years than the previous 15 combined. I’ve thought about, reflected upon, considered and deliberated more about my own leadership style, quality and failures, and the styles, qualities and failures of others in the last year than the previous 20 combined.
It’s a fair question.
Around 2 years ago I was introduced to a fellow who opened my eyes to the infinite ways to deal with people, to approach problems, and ultimately, leadership.
Being mentored by this fellow has shattered the self-imposed limits of my awareness horizon, and in turn I believe, made me a better leader. We’ve talked about how the choice of different type of radios in WWII German and Allied tanks speaks volumes of the leadership models in place at the time. We’ve talked about how Napoleon’s strategic approach to defensive tactics can still be used today. I picked up a book called The First Pathfinders: The Operational History of the Kampfgruppe 100, 1939 – 1941, about a ground-breaking German bomber command, and in an event that surprised even me, picked up another lesson about …leadership. Lessons are everywhere, you just have to be open to them.
Has this fellow suggested to me to read books, listen to podcasts, learn more? Nope. He rarely reads books, and he doesn’t listen to podcasts.
What he has done is stoke the fires of my desire to inhale content and to start learning again.
Not through leadership self-help books or motivational TedX talks, but through seeing that almost everything you witness at work and home can be a lesson if you just open your eyes.
“Lessons are everywhere, you just have to be open to them”
I’ve got scores and scores and scores of things that I’d like to share with you in the coming weeks and months. From book reviews, work lessons, lessons from the fire ground (I’m an active member of the NSW Rural Fire Service), personal examples of where my ego was my worst enemy, quotes that really made me think, and a stack in between.
There’ll be times where you might be reading and be thinking “There’s no lesson here, this guy’s drunk his own Cool-Aid”, who knows, maybe you’re thinking that right now? Sometimes you’ll be right – there’ll be no lesson, no moral to the story, no gold nugget, and it’ll just be me writing about shit I like. More often than not though I’ll be trying to impart a bit of knowledge that maybe you’ll get a kick out of. Some will be learned from others, some learned by me.
Now do I have the credentials to be teaching about leadership? Nope. Certainly nothing formal. No certificates or Cert IV, or diploma or bachelor’s degree. Just a participation ribbon because I keep on turning up.
Am I an expert? No.
Could I lead my team better? Yes of course.
Have I improved in the last few years? Jeez I hope so.
What I do have is a keen interest in learning and talking about leadership, and if there’s even only a small piece that you read and take in, then this blog will have achieved its objective – sharing. So we can both get better together.
So let’s get started……