Recently, I had an extraordinary learning experience from a biking adventure. I am a big believer that leadership is influence. During my biking trip, I learned some ironclad lessons on the dynamics of leading and following. You life requires you to balance following and leading. These 10 lessons will help you be a better leader and an improved follower.
1. Appreciate the one who brought you in and mentored you.
“We must find time to stop and thank those people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
2. Learn when to listen and when to ask questions
How does it make you feel when somebody constantly asks you questions? Be curious and always learning but be aware of the other persons energy they’re having to put out to answer your questions.
3. Demonstrate your willingness to put in the effort for your growth
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” – Pat Riley
4. Stay in your position
As we made our way through the first few miles, I quickly learned that I was not in charge. I am a husband, father, pastor, leader, business owner, etc but I am not a professional cyclist. I had to know my place and in this situation it required me staying in my spot to help the team.
5. Learn the signals for safe advancement
Learn how your leader communicates. Watch for areas that you can help. Be the person who is a lifter of burdens not a bringer of burdens.
6. Make pit stops to avoid catastrophe
At one point in the race a lever on the back of my bike slipped and after about 5 tries to pedal through it, I had to pull over and check out the problem. It was a simple fix but I had to stop, inspect, and correct. You need pit stops too. You need regular moments of pausing to check your energy, your family’s energy, and your employee’s energy.
7. Know who the leaders are
Find out who the leaders are and get around them. Be an eagle who soars and flies with eagles. I needed to be around the cyclists who’ve been there before. I didn’t ask the guy on the beach cruiser at the boardwalk how to win a bicycle race, I went to my team leaders. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
8. Value the pacesetter for their wisdom and effort
Craig Groeschel says that “what you criticize the most is what you understand the least.” You can’t see what the leader sees. You might be missing a valuable piece of information. You don’t have the leaders same experience. Value their insight. Thank them for their efforts. Encourage them to keep going.
9. Let the leader wave you up at the right time
When you get the opportunity to lead, don’t hesitate. Step up. Own the moment. Take advantage of the opportunity to break the wind for the team.
10. Understand we start, ride, and finish together.
In the Bible, Paul told Timothy to commit and teach his faith to other men. You pass along what you’ve learned. You don’t get bonus points for finishing this life without your spouse, family, team, or partners. Help the next generation after you. Love your children, your spouse. Invest into people around you.
In my new book “Be a Champion,” I discuss 7 actions you need to take to release the champion with you. You can buy that book here: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Champion-Actions-Releasing-Within/dp/B097DLS1K3/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8