Leadership Gold – Chapter Ten: Don’t Send Your Ducks To Eagle School

September 9, 2012 — 10 Comments

Indian Runner DucklingsAmerican Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Don’t we see this happening all the time? Unfortunately folks don’t think anything about doing it either.

What John means in this chapter is to find out what people’s strengths are, and then build on those strengths? What I’ve seen happen, and unfortunately did, was to believe that if someone was good in one area and not the other, they could learn the other.

I would (not) like to report that I failed in this concept. I believe that it was due to my inexperience as a leader or just had to high of expectations in people. That resulted in frustrating some people to the extent that they just quit instead of realizing that they needed to work in their strength area.

So I agree with what John says, if you send ducks to eagle school, you’ll just frustrate them. I know I get frustrated when I can’t complete a job to my bosses specifications due to not knowing or believing in what needs to be done.

If you don’t get along with people, or feel no empathy towards people when they are going through problems, then maybe being a leader isn’t one of your strengths.

If you love the details of a project but struggle to see the big picture or ability to develop a vision, then maybe being a leader isn’t one of your strengths.

If you would rather take a course on computer programming instead of building effective relationships, then maybe being a leader isn’t one of your strengths.

John lists a number of characteristics to look for when searching for potential leaders,

  • Adaptability – Quickly adjusts to change
  • Discernment – Understands the real issue
  • Perspective – Sees beyond their own vantage point
  • Communication – Links to all levels of the organization
  •  Security – does not find identity in position
  • Servanthood – Does whatever it takes
  • Resourcefulness – Finds creative ways to make things happen
  • Maturity – Puts the team before self
  • Endurance – Remains consistent in character and competence over the long haul
  • Countability – Can be counted on when it counts

That is a number of characteristics to look for when searching for fledgling eagles. There is one more that I would like to add,

Trust. I believe that without trust you can’t even leave the nest to test your wings.

Is there one you can think of?

Dave Leingang

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Dave Leingang retired from the United States Navy in 2003 with twenty one years of service. After retiring he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. A lifelong learner and always looking for a challenge he became a John Maxwell Team Founding Partner in 2011. Dave’s been facilitating leadership classes and mastermind groups to businesses and non-profits for over ten years in both traditional and distant learning classroom.

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