Ask not how to lead but how to learn to lead

February 8, 2018 by Joshua
in Education, Leadership

Sometimes people who want to know to lead ask directly,

How do you lead?

I don’t think they’re asking a question that will help them improve their leadership.

You can walk and talk, but you’d be hard pressed to describe how you do it beyond generalities like “you put one foot in front of the other.”

No one taught you the theory behind language or walking. You practiced until you succeeded. You fell along the way. You would never lecture to a child on how to talk.

Same with playing an instrument, sport, or any performance-based practice. You learn by doing. In fact, you’d never ask someone to teach you to play tennis by lecturing you in a classroom or assigning you to write papers.

Mastering self-expression

Mastering self-expression

You practice scales, then simple pieces, then complex. What begins as mechanical becomes, through practice, a way to express yourself authentically as you master it.

Same with leadership and entrepreneurship, which is why successful ones emerge not from traditional educational institutions but from practicing.

What if someone created the leadership and entrepreneurship equivalent of playing scales? Then you’d reach mastery faster, with less anxiety.

Well, I did that, but it wasn’t my point. Just to advise focusing on the learning technique rather than the outcome.

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