Brad signed my first coaching contract when I founded BasicApproach. I coached nine leaders in that first contract. In the second round, Brad placed himself on the list of those to be coached in the Brunson Level I Program. It was a great pleasure to work with him one-on-one. He is a straight-forward, talented leader.
Seven years later, I was facilitating an executive session in which Brad was a participant. At one point, I referred to the book Influencer by asking if anyone had read it. Brad responded, “Jeff, I haven’t read a book in five years.” He had taken a stretch break and was standing firm with his hands in his pockets when he said this. I laughed out loud.
While his frank answer was indeed entertaining, it was also a bit disturbing. The leader’s life in the 21st Century is fraught with busyness. As strong as Brad is, he is not immune to the attack that is so innate in the mind of busyness. (Seth Godin might say this level of thinking belongs to the ‘lizard brain.’ See his powerful book Linchpin).
We are each victim to this self-limiting line of thinking. It happens as often as we allow the shoulds of others to overrule the ought of our authentic self.
Leaders are learners. Learning is a priority. Personal learning is not something you do when all the other “stuff” is done. I read somewhere that if you are working on your inbox, then you are working on someone else’s priorities.
Read, and read a lot; and study what you read. Reading launches the learning process when you open to the act of study. Study encourages application. Personal study combined with professional application builds credibility in the leader’s practice.
For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills