The New Meaning of Learnership

A few weeks ago, I was posting an update on Twitter when the suggested hashtag “learnership” popped up. I had posted about two books I was reading related to leadership, and since I was learning too, it felt like the proper hashtag.

It wasn’t until I looked up what exactly learnership was that I realized I may have chosen the wrong hashtag. That said, however, I believe I had chosen the correct hashtag based on what it technically appears to represent. Let me explain.

The official definition of learnership is “training in a specific field to receive structured learning and work experience.”

It’s a combination of learning and internship. To me, it also could be the conjoining of learning and leadership.

We’ve all heard the term “natural born leader,” but leadership isn’t an organic trait. The underlying qualities are there for certain people; it’s then a matter of releasing and building on top of them.

This happens from learning. It comes from having worked for amazing leaders and building a strong network of role models and mentors; from reading books on the topic and putting in the effort to improve; from not taking a position of authority for granted.

That building comes from a desire to want to be a good leader. This is one of the most under-mentioned tips in all leadership articles and books — and I’ve read a ton of them.

For many people, a team comes along with a title. In a lot of cases, the person wanted the title (and higher salary as a result), but not the team. These are the people who ultimately “manage.”

On the other hand, there are those who want the title but are also excited about the team. They know there will be challenges and goals to meet, but they hold their team accountable and help to make them successful. As a result, these employees want to work hard and are excited to come to work. These people are leaders — great coaches not directors.

What many people of power don’t realize is their team’s performance is their measurement of success. The better they lead, the better their team is likely to perform. The better their team performs, the more success the leader will have.

Success also comes from an awareness of putting your team’s success ahead of your own, never being the roadblock but the roadblock clearer. It’s obvious when you’re in it for yourself as opposed to supporting those you lead to help them grow professionally.

The desire to be a good leader takes work. It’s reminding yourself to check in with yourself to make sure you’re treating your team fairly and living up to their expectations as a strong communicator and problem solver. It’s investing in yourself through books and classes to learn from others — after all, success does leave clues.

And remove the ego — great leaders don’t say they’re great leaders. They show it through the aforementioned actions.

If you’re reading this, you’re in the small population of leaders with an awareness and desire to be an amazing leader. It’s this conscious effort that sets the poor leaders apart from the great ones.

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