What Did You Learn Today?

Great leaders never stop learning.  They are constantly reading, asking questions, observing and stretching for more knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

A few years ago, John Maxwell, who was one of the teaching pastors at the church I was a part of, shared an interesting story along those lines.

He shared that he had several filing cabinets at home that were filled with articles, stats, ideas, illustrations, etc.

Over the years, he had collected thousands of illustrations, stories, etc.  When speaking on a particular topic, he would go to that file and look for information to use in the sermon.  Having added all that information to the files, made it an extremely valuable tool when he was preparing a talk or sermon.

But he began to feel that he was relying too heavily on those files.  And God began dealing with him and asking him to do something radical that would help him continue learning in the days ahead.  So he called a moving company and had them send over a couple of men.

John told the men that he was going to leave for a couple hours.  The men were to take the files to a remote location and destroy them.  And when John returned, they were not to tell him the location, no matter how much he asked them.

So the men did what they had been hired to do.  They took all of the great speaking materials that were in those filing cabinets and destroyed it.

Why would John do something like that?  The answer is simple.  He didn't want to rely too heavily on the past.  Even in his 70's, he wanted to remain in a mode of learning, growing and stretching.  

That is challenging to me and I'm sure it is for you as well.  Great learners are constantly in a learning mode.  They seek to gain more knowledge all the time and from everyone they come in contact with.

How about you?  Are you daily learning, growing, pushing forward, etc.?  Do you have a personal growth plan that will help you learn new things?

Over the years, it's easy to slip into neutral and coast along.  Content.  Not concerned about growing as a leader.  Slouched down in your comfort zone because you don't want to hold yourself accountable for learning and growing.

Yes, it may be comfortable, but it's not where you want to be as a leader.

So, how can you continue to grow as a leader?

Here's a simple but strategic way you can be a lifelong learner.

Make it your goal to write down at least one thing new that you learned each day.  One thing.  It might be something you read in a book.  Or something God showed you in your time with Him.  Or something you heard someone else say.  Or a quote you saw.  Each day listen.  Be eager to learn.  Ask lots of questions.  Be in growth mode.   Just think.  If you do this for one year, in a year you will have taken 365 growth steps. 

Never stop learning.  Never stop growing.  Never stop becoming a better version of yourself.