Life and Leadership Is About Experiences
In the nearly 30 years since I began my professional career, I’ve had a great many number of experiences. Work experiences, life experiences, family experiences; experiences dealing with conflict, stress and happiness. Life and leadership is about the experiences we have.
As an organizational leader I’ve had the opportunity to mentor, teach, guide and shape hundreds of people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe. These experiences were not about making more money, selling more things, providing more whatever. These experiences were based on leading people.
The more time I have to reflect on all the experiences that have crossed my path, the more I realize knowing and understanding it’s the experiences in our life that make us who we are. It’s the experiences in our organization, in every sale we make, every service we provide. What our organization does, or what any organization does is based on a series of experiences. Some are better than others. Some are by chance, some are purposeful and with full intention.
Life and Leadership
At the end of the day however, they are all simply experiences we build upon from the very first day we join the team.
In life we know and understand the experiences we have are what makes a life worth living. College life to personal relationships. Internships to military experience. From the salesroom floor to the C-Suite, we gather little experiences in everything we do, in every place we go and with every person we interact. It’s about those experiences that make us who we are and as such, the leader we become.
If each of us look back at how we arrived in the job we have today, in the personal relationships you have, or in the successes you’ve achieved, they are all based on experiences along the way. We hope we have learned from the some of the difficult experiences. We have celebrated and enjoyed the most successful experiences but in every one of them, we bank the memory, the feelings we felt during those experiences. Many will recall and use those experiences to progress and grow and learn as we grow older. In business and in life. Some do it better than others, some succeed quicker, some take longer, but it’s all built on those experiences.
Your Job As A Leader
As a leader, it’s my thought that a vital part of your job description is to share those experiences you’ve had along the way. The good ones along with the bad ones. They are both equally as enriching to those coming behind us. Make no mistake about it, someone is coming behind you. Someone will take the job you have today, and it’s our role to ensure they are more successful at it than we were. That’s what leaders do.
It’s saddening to see so many emerging leaders that are placed into new supervisory positions and given no real guidance, training or mentorship about how to be successful in their new role. It seems as many leaders feel they don’t have the time to invest in “junior” members of their team. “I learned the hard way, they can learn the hard way as well.” The reasons of why we fail time and time again to produce better, more capable emerging supervisors is mind boggling!
Why Do We Fail to Share Experiences?
We often fail to engage with those experiences we have had? Why don’t more of us go out of our way to provide guidance, opportunities to learn, grow, stretch and make mistakes! Many do I know, but there are far too many new supervisors approach me at the end of one of training programs full of gratitude, for giving them even a few new tools to use.
My hope is that the person that takes my job in the future should make the work I’ve done look like child’s play. The next leader in my position should take the organization to even greater heights, more productivity and be an even better leader, mentor, teacher to those behind him or her!
What experiences have you had in your career if you would have known early on may have helped you through a critical time or would have allowed you to overcome a difficult decision? You have many of them, we all do. Are you sharing those experiences with your subordinates? Are you telling them “I did this or that and it was wrong!” or “I made a decision to do this and I wish I had taken XYZ into account before I reacted.”
Share Your Experiences
Life and Leadership is about experiences. Experiences make up who we are in life and career. These are little stories in our life that make up who we are. Just as you have stories from your childhood about the day you first rode your bike or fell out of the treehouse….all of those memories and experiences make us the person we are today, so goes your professional life. Tell your story!
I’m proud I have the opportunity to share leadership stories to leaders around the globe. I’ve spoken and trained across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, as well as the Far East and across the South Pacific. I’m blessed that organizations realize the investment in time and training for their employees, their organizations and even their seasoned leaders are worth the investment.
The more each of share our story, the better leaders we grow in the world. The better leaders we grow today, equals better leaders in the future. Plant the seed today! Join Matthew Brandt on LinkdIn or follow him on Twitter to stay on top of our global leadership forum.