One Secret to Long-term Leadership Success

If I could give one piece of advice to leaders who want long-term success it would be this:

Learn the people.

I know. It sounds too simple, but until you learn how the people you are trying to lead think, what the people value, the differences among the people, how situations impact the people, and the way the people are likely to respond to situations…you can’t lead them successfully.

Learn people and you can successfully lead people.

Try it. It will work in any setting. In the church. In business. In the home.

New to a church or organization? This is your key to beginning well.

Long-timer in a church or organization? This is what will improve your leadership. Make it last.

Of course, you’ll have to respond according to what you’re learning, but this is where you start. This is what gives you the tools you need. This is what can help shape your leadership. This is the gold information of leading people.

Learn the people and you can learn how to lead people.

How are you learning the people you are attempting to lead?

What advice would you give to leaders who want long-term success?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “One Secret to Long-term Leadership Success

  1. I like to sit back and talk with them. Let them tell me their story, their experiences, their desires. When you begin to listen to their life story, you begin to learn the person.

  2. I am in the middle of reading Joe Gibbs first book. Over and over he talks about understanding people and building the team. Obviously he comes at it from the NFL and NASCAR perspective which are big on team, but your right, learn the people and build the team.

  3. I agree! I believe that I serve the people I lead. So, in my leadership it has a servant style that cares for those I lead personally. I do what I can do to let them know I care about them “more” than I care about the doings they are serving the ministry with. I want to add value to their lives first and more than I do the ministry. I believe in investing in them 1st before the ministry I have been tasked to. I do everything I can to know how they are doing in their inner heart life. I ask lots of “specific” open ended questions, so I can know how they are, so I can pray for them and encourage them in their walk with God.

    Twitter: kmac4him

  4. Yes, I agree with Skip Prichard (people learing is fascinating). It is so crucial and yet, not carried through by the leader, teacher, coach, etc….even a parent has to learn different personalities within their own family.

    When both of my children were younger and playing sports (and don't let that take over family time), I would see coaching situations where coach would fail to learn each personality of the team…the end result with be a disastrous outcome. It would bug me to no end…..I wanted to make the suggestion of forget the 'plays', learn the people!

  5. Studying people is a fascinating and never-ending exercise. I never tire of trying to understand what motivates people, how they interact, how to maximize their strengths. So much business leadership is about strategy–and that's obviously important–but the results come down to people.

    When I was first managing people, I thought everyone wanted to be managed the way…well, the way I wanted to be managed. It's only after watching, talking, absorbing and learning from smart people that you learn that all of us are wired slightly different.

    Personally, in addition to observation, I like to read all I can about different personalities and strengths. And I've attended seminars. Finally, I love to compare notes with other leaders about what resonates, what motivates, and what inspires because when someone else has walked before you, you gain valuable insight. And you do that on this blog.