What is the most important quality you look for in people you lead? I know some people who speak about the intangibles, but I want to get a little more practical than that. What is the thing that jumps out at you about people that makes you say, “I really want to work with this person. I think they have what it takes to go to the places I challenge them to go?”
For me, it is teachability. There are so many people brimming with potential, but what separates them for me is whether or not they have humbled their hearts to receive what I would give them. One of the mistakes I have made is trying to get some people to get it when they just don’t want to get it. Maybe it is adolescent pride, maybe it is a deep insecurity, but some people put stoppers in their ears and cannot stand to learn something. They must be teachers. And in so doing they place a premature lid on their leadership ability that could translate into them going further, faster in their influence of others.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Jesus chose very teachable people. A group of disciples who were sitting at His feet, gobbling up every parable and teaching He gave. Jesus could have chose anyone but He chose those who desired His way. This past summer, some of my students got in a van driven by Adam Parkhurst, one of our leaders. I told them as they traveled around the country to have their moleskins with them. Why? Because every moment they could learn something, I wanted them to get it. And they were so unbelievably teachable. The lessons they learned had them all ready to spark a revolution. Teachability does not come easily. We want to be recognized as those who “know”. I say get to learning.
What is my pre-eminent goal in 2011. To be the most teachable I have ever been. Because your experiences at 18, 21, 25, or 27 are still limited. We are surrounded by wisdom. What will we do with who God has blessed us with?
“Walk with the wise and you will become wise.” Proverbs 13:20