How do you grow in your leadership skills? By doing? By watching? By being stretched? By learning from others? Probably you grow by doing a combination of all of them.
One of the ways I grow best is by watching the example of the leaders around me. I love learning. I’ve always been a curious sort. Over the years, curiosity has gotten a bad rap. We all know about the cat. What you might not know is that St. Augustine wrote in Confessions in A.D. 397, in the time before creating heaven and earth, God “fashioned hell for the inquisitive.” Apparently one of his followers was asking a few too many questions. I hope he was wrong.
One of the ways I scratch the leadership curiosity itch is by reading as much as I can, as often as I can. The information age that we live in is like crack for a consummate learner like me. Earlier I wrote a post about some of the tools that I use to help me do my job. I use at least three of those every day to help me learn and to retain what I’m learning.
1. The first tool is Feedly, which is an RSS reader. For the nontechies – it’s an app that allows me to accumulate the blogs and news services I read into one place. I have it sectioned into the following headings: Christianity, news, leadership, social media, technology, photography, quotes and productivity. At least twice a day I check out what is new on Feedly.
2. The second tool is called Pocket. It is a “read it later” app that syncs with Feedly. As I’m scanning through Feedly I might land on an article that I may want to either read later, use in a blog post, send to a friend or use for message prep. A button on Feedly sends it immediately to Pocket for later reading and tagging.
3. The third tool is called Evernote. I use it as my long-term storage for everything. Think of it as an electronic file cabinet with some drawers with neatly organized folders and other drawers that are searchable catchall’s. Pocket has a button that sends things to Evernote for long-term storage.
So–as promised–here are five things in my pocket this week that are helping me become a better leader:
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