I recently spoke at a graduation ceremony for a group that was completing a year-long leadership program. I wanted to get the message across that becoming a leader is a journey and not a destination. Here’s how I did it:
I shared the story of my 2 year old grandson, Colin, calling to tell us that he “made poopy in the potty.” He was so excited to share this big news with his Nana and Pop-Pop, and we enjoyed hearing his happy shrieks and our daughter’s description of him dancing around the living room. Everyone was proud of this milestone! He pooped in the potty for the first time!
The question I presented to the group of leadership grads: Is Colin now potty trained?
They all answered, “No.” Of course not, right? He just took an important first step toward becoming potty trained, but he’s not potty trained.
In the same way, the graduates of the leadership program, and all of us, might be able to make poopy in the big potty, but it doesn’t mean that our leadership journey is complete. Becoming a leader is a lifelong process.
At SOS Leadership, one of our favorite leadership quotes is, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” (John F. Kennedy) If learning and leading are so deeply connected, then we must be committed to lifelong learning if we aspire to be leaders. You are a leader now, yet you are always in the process of becoming the leader you are called to be.
Becoming a Leader is a Journey, Not a Destination!