Today I want to talk to you about the virtuous cycle of learning. You’ve probably heard the saying that “Leaders are learners.” And while that is true, I would add that leaders are also teachers.
If you’d heard me talk about leadership pipeline, you’ve likely heard me discuss the importance of learning, leading, and multiplying in development. In every level of your church’s leadership pipeline, from volunteers to senior leadership, people should learn and become competent in the role. Then they should lead in that role. Then they should multiply themselves in that role.
Many people will never progress leadership levels in your pipeline, and that’s okay. But if they are learning and leading, we must get them to multiply themselves. The way we do that is through a virtuous cycle of learning.
In the Leadership Engine by Noel Tichy, he discusses the importance of a teachable point of view. It’s not only about learning; it’s about being able to teach what you’re learning to someone else. By doing that you actually learn it better yourself. You develop as a leader, but you are also developing another.
For example, say I’m a small group leader and developing an apprentice. My own development as a leader doesn’t end just because I’m teaching an apprentice to do my job. Sure, I’m sharing my knowledge with them, but development for me happens as I walk through what I’m learning with my apprentice. That’s the virtuous cycle of learning. In doing this, I’m modeling multiplication and a healthy culture of development for my apprentice so that they can do the same with someone else.
Now that you understand the importance of the virtuous cycle of learning, what are you going to do about it?