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Recently I was mentoring a strong leader who is a rising star in her company.

She is highly skilled in many facets of the business and on this occasion we were working together on a specific area where she knows she needs to improve. We worked together for an hour or so.

Within a few days she had implemented the strategies and techniques we worked through and was ready to discuss the next area she wanted to make improvements. I love working with people who take action. The doers of the world. This is the gravy for any mentor. To see the work come to fruition. To see the learning in action.

Now here is the question for you to ponder:

Has she become a leader because she is a doer?

Hmmm…intuitively it would seem that the answer is YES. But that answer would be incorrect.

I know a lot of doers who are not leaders. They are capable of leading and through their example of doing they are certainly in a position to lead. But leadership is not simply about what you do. Leadership is a heart condition. In many arenas in the world, the leaders are not the BEST doers. They are not the people with the best numbers so to speak. They usually DO have enviable results of some sort, because as I said before, example is a big part of leadership.

But consider many successful organizations you know of in business. The most effective and technically proficient workers (doers) work FOR the best leaders. Leadership is much bigger than just being skilled and productive.

In this case, what shows her leadership, is WHY she wanted to learn and THAT she wanted to learn.

THAT she wanted to learn shows a lot. Leaders know that they need to be constantly learning. They seek out coaches and mentors who can look into their work objectively and from deep knowledge and experience and help them see the bigger picture and they constantly read and seek new insights. Leaders are close to the work. They are in the forest and looking at all the trees. Yes, they step out to see the forest and they have others who are experts in various areas of the forest that they are not as proficient in, but they seek out people who are not in their forest with them to better understand what’s possible.

WHY she wanted to learn is the one that really exposed her heart as that of a true leader. She didn’t want to learn just so she could be more effective at what she does in her own work day to day. She wanted to learn so that she could serve her organization better. She knows that not everyone is like her. Not everyone has her skill set and talents. And she knows that each person who joins her organization comes with their own set of skills, abilities, personality traits, and talents. She wanted to work on the areas that are not in her strength zones so that she could authentically serve people who are not just like her. This is wisdom in leadership in action.

Have a leadership question or comment, email me at info@toddburrier.com. Want to learn the fundamentals of growing your leadership for long term success in the industry? Check out My Book on Leadership

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