I have rarely, if ever, met a really inspiring leader who is not inherently curious. Curiosity is key to leadership.
There is a great deal of talk about what good leadership looks like. But far less about what it means to be a good follower. However, I doubt that we can be good leaders without knowing how to be good followers.
If we want to lead well, then we need to listen well. It sounds remarkably simple, but amazing how often leaders forget this simple skill – we stop listening, or only listen to those who agree with us.
Recently my good friend and mentor Paul Chapman died. He was ninety-one. Over the last twenty years, I have variously described Paul as a young man in his seventies, eighties and nineties. He was, in every sense of the word, extraordinary.
Saying sorry and meaning it is, I think, one of the hardest things for leaders to do, especially – I suspect – men. In my latest Life & Work article on leadership I write about having to learn that lesson.
In the third of a series of short articles about leadership, written for the Church of Scotland’s Life & Work magazine, I reflect on how we need to recognise that leadership is a team game.