Do you help your team learn from their mistakes? (159-3)
Effective leaders help their team learn from their mistakes. Read Jeremiah 8:4-7.
The nation of Judah had drifted away from God. The prophet Jeremiah asked the leaders the question, “When men fall down, do they not get up?” meaning why has Judah turned away and not returned. In verse six Jeremiah says that even though God is listening intently no one repents and in fact they have the intensity of a war horse charging into battle to get their own way. God’s charge against the people was that they had less sense than migrating birds because they refused to learn from their past mistakes.
Readers can be frustrated with the hardheartedness, lack of attentiveness, and the stubborn nature of the Jewish people when reading the Old Testament until we realize they remind us of ourselves. A leader must be continuously learning from the past, from the present and even as they look into the future. No leader or organization can afford to ignore the curriculum that is built into their daily activities. Every leader can improve if they practice the following elements:
- Leaders must know the standard of excellence. Until a leader knows the standard their actions are measured against they have no way to evaluate their current position or even start to chart a course to improvement.
- Leaders must seek instructions on how to move toward excellence. Just because a leader knows the standard of excellence doesn’t mean they grasp its significance or that they know how to get from where they are to the standard. Instruction helps a leader move from knowledge to understanding.
- Leaders must put into practice what they have learned. Until the learning process is implemented a leader is really unaware of what they do and don’t truly understand. Successes and failures are measured against the standard and both are part of the learning process.
- Leaders must seek feedback. Most leaders tend to look at their own work with a positive bias. As leaders put what they have learned into practice, feedback from others will help them determine how they are measuring up against the standard. Feedback from someone less personally involved gives a leader another reference point on their effectiveness against the standard.
What elements in your organization have you and your team at risk? Are there areas, activities or actions that have repeatedly tripped up your team and left the organization with financial losses or caused excellent team members to leave? The leaders in Jeremiah’s day felt they did not have to measure up against God’s standard and they had no desire to seek instruction on how to change. For this they suffered the consequences of Babylon invading them, a huge loss of life during the battle, their capitol city of Jerusalem was captured, and most of the people were taken into exile. Today’s leaders who refuse to learn from the past may have no better fate.
Tags: Drifting away from God, God is listening, Hard Heartedness, Lack of attentiveness, Learn from mistakes, Practice what you learn, Seek Instruction, Seeking feedback, Seeking Instructions, Standard of excellence, Stubborn Nature, Team at Risk
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