When I mention the name of my company, Lifelong Leaders, to someone, they often correct me and say, “you mean lifelong learners?” That’s a phrase we’re more familiar with.
“Close,” I reply, “but different.”
A lifelong learner refers to someone dedicated to continual learning for the rest of their life. It’s a mindset that refutes the idea that learning ends on the day you finish school. For a lifelong learner, learning is a part of living. like breathing. It needs to continue in order for life to continue.
The idea of a lifelong leader is similar. It’s a mindset that refutes the idea that leadership is a destination one arrives at. Stepping into a leadership role is not the beginning or end of leadership, it’s simply the next step in one’s leadership journey. Leading, like learning, takes a lifetime to pursue.
A Community of Lifelong Leaders
My goal is to grow and support the community of lifelong leaders. These are people, like you, who are motivated to develop your leadership skills because you want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act. It’s a journey of responsibility, demonstrated in the way you lead both yourself and others. It’s not something you do because you’ve been recently promoted into a position. You embrace it as a way of life..
For most, the lifelong leader journey begins with acknowledging that you are always responsible for yourself. Your life is something that needs guidance, direction and courage. Without proper leadership, you end up drifting through life and settling for whatever comes your way.
Leading yourself well is the foundation for every other leadership effort. Successful leadership in any endeavor requires self-leadership. If you can’t lead yourself well, you won’t be able to lead others well. Your leadership of others, either by position or passion, flows out of who you are. It’s not based solely on job or role. Leadership is a very human endeavor. The work, the tasks and the activities required have no feelings one way or another how they’re handled or solved. But people do.
I chose rough seas as the imagery for Lifelong Leaders. I’ve always been connected to water, growing up by the beaches of Southern California. To me, rough seas represent the struggles we all face in our lives. It’s not a matter of if, only when. It’s the rough seas that cause us to take stock, to see what we’re made of and to decide what kind of story we want to tell about the experience. Drifting on calm waters requires nothing. Navigating rough seas requires leadership.
The icon symbolizes rough water, illustrating the ups and downs of life. It also contains two L’s flowing together. I replaced the “O” in the word lifelong with a ship’s helm or wheel. This is what controls the rudder, which in turn, steers the ship in a certain direction. For me, this represents the first step in your leadership journey, both personally and professionally. When you put your hands on the helm, you take responsibility for the direction (and the consequences of that direction) of your life and the lives of others.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you feel inspired to join this community – to learn and grow together as we each put our hands on the helm – then I invite you to sign up for my weekly letter. I hope you will. I want to inspire you to continue moving forward and making progress in your leadership journey.
Share this Post