The Best Leadership Course I Ever Did

29th Aug 2019

I’ve been on some great leadership courses throughout my career. I’ve had great teachers. I’ve been exposed to brilliant ideas. And through the shared experience of a course, I’ve developed a rich network of colleagues, many of whom I still connect with today.

But none of those courses can compare to the best leadership course I ever did. 

So which one is it? It’s the one I’m on now. The best leadership course I ever did is being the leader of the Change Makers tribe.

When I first came up with the idea for Change Makers just over two and a half years ago, I was kind of nervous. Would people come? Would what I have to share be useful? Was I up to it? These questions gnawed at me as I wrestled with launching this thing, asking people to come with me on a journey fuelled by nothing more than an idea.

Since then, I’ve been stretched and challenged to be the leader that this community needs me to be. I’ve continually explored how to best serve a growing tribe of restless go-getters who are aspiring to make their difference in the world. I’ve had moments of profound inspiration. And times when I’ve been lost in the fog. I’ve had to deeply question my ideas and identity of what it means for me to lead. And I’ve been learning on the fly every day. 

And, as a result, I reckon I’ve grown as a leader more than any other time in the past 20 years. While I’m not ‘done’ (I’ll never be ‘done’), my confidence and inner-knowing is miles from where it was.

Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • If you want to change the world, just start.
  • When you share what you believe in, the right people will show up.
  • Allow others to shape the game. That’s where ownership lives.
  • Always be learning. Ask for feedback. Listen and adapt. Repeat.

While these ideas weren’t new to me, they’ve now sunk in at a whole new level. They’ve become a part of how I think and act every day, not just what I intellectually ‘know’. 

There’s nothing like learning by doing. Pithy one-liners, theories, models, tools and structured programmes can all be useful. But there’s nothing like being in the arena, having to actually live it. When you’re carrying risk of failure, when you’re aware of the need to show a paradoxical blend of vulnerability and confidence every time you show up, and when you’re holding the expectations and hopes of others in your heart, it gets real.

That’s why leading Change Makers is the best leadership course I’ve ever done.

Like a sword in the forge, your leadership gets its strength from the fires of experience. Nothing else can shape you to become the leader you want to become.

So, what’s your leadership programme?

For more like this, check out Are You A Heat Seeking Leader?

Photo: Drew Farwell


Like this post? When you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you further:

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  • Get my new book, Change Makers: How to make your mark with more impact and less drama. It’s availablenow.
  • Come along to one of my Change Makers breakfast sessions to learn more about how this game-changing programme can amplify you and your people’s ability to have more impact.