If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve led people in the military and business for over 33 years. I’ve written three bestselling leadership books, been on dozens of podcasts, and taught hundreds of students about the importance of leadership. Yet, whenever I’m referred to or introduced as a “leadership expert,” I cringe.
That’s because of how I view experts.
Many people who label themselves online as experts or thought-leaders are often arrogant know-it-alls who aren’t open to new ways of looking at things. They have a fixed mindset. This kind of thinking is foolish in a complex and ever-changing topic like leadership.
It’s not hard to find news stories where the experts are wrong. As Dartmouth professor Andrew King tells us, we “live in a world where, almost daily, some expert’s previous certainty is discredited by new analysis.” The risk of a fixed mindset is that you become so arrogant and narrow-focused that you lose your child-like curiosity.
As a life-long student of leadership, I am embarking on a new academic journey out of humility. I am working on obtaining my Doctor of Strategic Leadership degree at Liberty University. I realize that after three decades of studying and practicing leadership, I’ve only scratched the surface of this subject. Even though I’ve read dozens of books and articles on leadership, I still have much to learn. There have been more than 15,000 books written on leadership, and articles on leadership number in the thousands each year.
My short-term goal is to expose myself to new ideas and thinking on the subject of leadership so I can perform better as a business leader. I will also be able to provide improved guidance to my readers, listeners, and students. Combining decades of practical experience with a deeper academic study of leadership will make me a more impactful voice in the leadership community.
At 55 years old, I’m in the third chapter of my life. My first chapter involved reaching my childhood dream of becoming a naval officer. The second involved engaging blue-collar workers to turn around struggling manufacturing businesses. Now I’m focused on passing on what I’ve learned about leadership.
The singular thread throughout all my writing, podcasts, and speaking is to “build a world with better bosses.” I know that the material I will learn in this program and the knowledge I will gain through this academic journey will help me do that far more effectively.
Over the next few years, I will share what I have been learning through this process. The insights I gain through this academic pursuit will help me be a better author, speaker, and teacher.
With your support, I know that together we can build a world with better bosses.
If you want to become a better leader, order my latest book You Have the Watch: A Guided Journal to Become a Leader Worth Following.
This guided journal provides daily leadership guidance and reflection for an entire year. Each week, you will learn a new leadership skill. Each day, you will explore a new facet of that skill. As you do the work and put in the reps as a leader, this journal will be your constant companion. By the end of the year, you will master fifty of the most important leadership skills.
[Photo from Liberty of University Facebook Page]