Ripples #1064: Learning While Leading

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1064: Learning While Leading
Oct 14, 2019


You’ve got to be a servant before you can be a supervisor.
-Cathy Kyle (Marcus’ mom), shared by Marcus in Atlanta, GA


Leadership is insight and inspiration, service and humility, courage, conviction and compassion. It challenges the sleepwalkers and the status quo, perceives problems, unleashes laughter, raises children and searches for solutions. Leadership is endless striving.
-Dacia Toll, shared by Tonya in Deerbrook, WI


I immediately connected with the simple yet powerful wisdom in today’s pebble, so I followed up with Marcus to see if I could learn more about his mom’s sage advice. It turns out he had reached out to her for help with a difficulty he was grappling with and their conversation stayed with him for a long time afterword. Here is how Marcus described what he eventually concluded from their conversation:

“If you want help solving your problems, start by helping other people solve their problems,” he wrote in an email to me. “You learn more about life and about yourself when you’re helping others.” The cool bonus, according to Marcus, is that you can “learn ways to solve other problems in your life you haven’t had a chance to get to yet.”

Whether you’re the CEO of a huge company or the chair of your homeowner’s association, the effectiveness of your leadership depends in part on your capacity to keep learning and keep growing. And most successful leaders attribute at least some of their success to humbly respecting the talent and effort of those they are leading. Being able to learn from them not only increases their respect and trust in your leadership, it also adds to your knowledge and skill base.

Ask yourself what you’ve recently learned while leading, and maybe take a moment this week to acknowledge someone you’ve learned something from.

The Ripples Guy

P.S. Reading this over the last few days has allowed me to reflect on just how much I’ve learned while leading this merry troupe of Ripplers for the past 1,064 weeks. Your affirmations and feedback have been crucial to the evolution of Ripples, and there have been countless times when hearing from you has lifted me up and allowed me to continue extending these out in a way that lifts others up. Ripples make waves, and so do you. 🙂  

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