What’s the Key to Leadership Success?

 In Pei Blog

Here’s the story of two leaders who showed me the critical difference-maker.

Here’s some background on why I developed the new leadership training curriculum, “Facing the Demands of Leadership.” 

A while back, I heard a leader say, “I haven’t gotten any leadership development in my organization for years.”  I mainly listened to her, and tried to understand where she was coming from.

But the following week, I sat down with a young man who asked to meet up with me.  He came prepared with a list of questions and thoughts about a leadership book he had been reading.  He shared some of his challenges in team leadership, and asked for my feedback on his personal goals for the year.

And it struck me in that moment, that the biggest difference between these two leaders wasn’t some kind of external tactic or strategy that they had at their disposal.  Rather, the difference was what was inside of them… their character, which determined how they “took in” the world and people around them.

For the first leader, she blamed external circumstances for her lack of growth and development.  No matter how many resources I suggested or sent her way, she found an excuse about why they wouldn’t apply or be enough for her.

For the second leader, he saw an endless wealth of resources around him, from books to experiences to people.  Although he asked me for feedback and input, I really didn’t feel the need to suggest much at all.  I knew that no matter what, this leader would find something to take away from our time together, and it really didn’t have much to do with me.  If I weren’t there, he would have learned something from the people working in the coffee shop, or even the philosophical sayings that were printed on the walls.

In one of my favorite books, Integrity, Dr. Henry Cloud writes:

“The immature character asks life to meet his or her demands.  But the mature character meets the demands of life.” (Integrity, 258).

It’s so easy for us to blame our external circumstances, or seek a “quick fix” with some new tactic, isn’t it?  The hardest thing to do is to face ourselves, and look inside at how we might need to take responsibility, change, and grow.

But that begs the question, doesn’t it… how do we become like the second leader, rather than the first?  None of us wants to be called “immature,” although we are all on a path of maturing in leadership.

If one of the biggest keys to leadership development has to do with character, the good news is that I believe we can grow internally!  And that’s why I developed a new leadership training curriculum called Facing the Demands of Leadership, to help leaders who want to face themselves and grow through relationships, and through practical leadership skills that will develop their internal character.

For more details on the book, read here.

If you’re interested in getting this resource for your church, team, coaching, or ministry, it’s available at this link: Get copies of “Facing the Demands of Leadership”

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment or e-mailing me.  Thank you!

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