The Learners of Today Are The Leaders of Tomorrow

The Learners of Today Are The Leaders of Tomorrow


JJ Lynch

It was back in the early 1960’s when President John F Kennedy said:

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.

There’s no such thing as instant leadership. Leadership is like a plant. It needs watered and fed to help it to grow.

We are always growing – as human beings, as colleagues, as parents. But the moment we become a leader in the workplace everything changes.

Success is no longer just about personal growth but about growing others – seeing their potential and turning it into ability.

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership, but for this to happen leaders must become role models for learning.


Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Professor of Business at Harvard Business School, said:

“Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach”.

And the most powerful form of teaching is to lead by example and we lead by example by showing that we are always willing to learn.

A few years ago a mentor once said to me:

“Be so knowledgeable, competent and brilliant at what you do that they just can’t ignore you. Become indispensable”.

Every leadership journey is a journey of learning.

When Nelson Mandela delivered his inauguration speech as President of South Africa he spoke about “the person he had become” and “the journey he had walked” in making his leadership dream of a “new South Africa” come true.

The former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said:

“If you eat three times a day you’ll be fed. But if you read three times a day you will be wise”.

An idea discovered in a book can change the way you see the world, an idea heard on a podcast can transform the way you communicate, and an idea found in a blog can drive your business to remarkable success.

Remember, the learners of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

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(Leading Edge Leadership work with leaders and managers in a range of businesses and organisations who are leaders in their field.)

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