The reality is that every leader will need help at some point in their leadership journey. Where does one get this help? Leaders will speak to family members, friends, other leaders and some may even speak to complete strangers about their frustrations.
The reason they do this is that they are unable to crystallize their thoughts on the way forward and as such they verbalize their challenge in order to get help from a listening ear. In sharing they are hoping that they will get some sage advise that will change their situation.
Depending on the levels of experience and expertise of the one listening they may very well get the answer they are looking for or they may actually get some pretty bad advice. The key for the leader is to ask the question, “Is this the appropriate person to speak to and are they qualified enough to speak into my situation?”.
It amazes me at how easily people take advice from anyone. They may think it’s harmless however there is no guarantee that it is in fact harmless. There is the story of Solomon’s son Rehoboam who refused to listen to the advice of the elders who had much wisdom (1 Kings 12 verse 8) and rather chose to listen to the younger men. This backfired completely and he lost so many kingdoms as a result of taking the wrong persons advice.
How is this possible? How can the son of one of the wisest men to live make such a schoolboy error? Arrogance. It was complete arrogance that got in the way of making a wise decision. There are so many resources available to leaders today and so many wise leaders around that young leaders can learn from if only they humbled themselves and gave themselves the freedom to listen.
When I wrote the book “The New manager” it was birthed from a desire to help young leaders understand the fullness of the challenges they would face in their journey. I made it my mission to share stories “warts and all” and show them the mistakes as well as the successes in making wise decisions. It was a desire to help the young leader solidify their thoughts on how they would approach similar situations. I am confident that mine is not the only book that can help leaders as there are many leaders that have helped me through their fantastic books and I certainly hope that the culture of reading books and getting advice from the right people is reignited in this day and age where so many want quick fixes.
I do hope that young leaders think carefully who they are going to approach and what they are going to read in deciding how to take the next step in dealing with their own unique leadership challenges.