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10 Things You Can Do Today to Improve as a Leader

Most leaders want to improve. I hear from leaders weekly who want to get better in their role. They want to improve so the organization they lead can improve.

As much as leaders desire improvement, many leaders wonder where they should go to grow.

Here are 10 things you can do today to improve as leader:

Read the Bible

I know you’d expect this from someone who has been a pastor, but seriously, this is not a clever attempt to get you to read your Bible. (Although you should, you know.) The Bible is a tremendous resource for leadership development. Jesus is the Master Leader. And there are plenty of other examples of men and women who, unlike Jesus, were sinful people like you and me. Of course, for me it’s THE source of my foundation, but even if you aren’t a follower of Christ you can learn from the leaders in Scripture. The Bible doesn’t shy away from the flaws within every leader either, so you can learn from people who recover from failure.

Read a leadership book

There are many good leadership books to choose from, but if you aren’t sure where to start, choose a John Maxwell book to start. Or a Patrick Leoncini book. Or a Chip and Dan Heath book. Any of them. Safe choice every time. (You could even read my book.) The key is to read. Leaders are readers. One frequent question I ask successful leaders is, “What are you currently reading?” It just takes one fresh idea to launch you into something golden.

Find a mentor

The best mentors in my life have been people I admire and invited to speak into my life. This has included pastors, business leaders and politicians. I look for character first and then competency in an area in which I want to grow personally.

Hang out with fellow leaders

Leadership Network was founded under this principle. The answers are usually in the room if you put the right people in the room.

I usually have 2 or 3 different groups of leaders I meet with periodically. These are peers. They are at similar places in their career of leadership. When I served actively as a pastor some were obviously pastors. But some were not. We learn from each other. And often I have to be the one to take the initiative first. I’m game for it, because I know the value.

Join a civic club

I am not in one currently, but have attended and spoken to them many times. It’s a great option to put you with other leaders in the community. I have, however, always been active in the community. Most communities have formal leadership programs, often through the chamber of commerce. Ask around. There are leadership principles nearby if we are intentional to seek them.

Ask for input from those you lead

This can be a humbling option, but I promise the people you are trying to lead have suggestions. They won’t often share them unless they are given permission. You have to be bold enough to ask.

Analyze current conditions

Few leaders stop to see where they are currently. What’s working? What’s not? What needs tweaking? What needs killing? The best leaders don’t have all the answers, but they have great questions.

You usually won’t know the answer to the question you don’t ask.

Reflect on past mistakes

The best teacher is experience. Most likely you’ve had situations in the past God can use to prepare you for what you are currently facing. Or you’ve watched others make mistakes. Take time to reflect and learn.

I keep a record of mistakes I’ve made. Many of the things I write about here I learned from them.

Write some goals

It amazes me when I hear leaders who don’t have written goals and objectives they are currently trying to achieve. Writing something puts it in your schema. You are more likely to have the goals at the front of your mind. When this happens you’ll be a walking sponge of new ideas to accomplish them. You will learn as you go because you are living with your current objectives closer to your mind. I constantly have something on which to jot down notes with me so as ideas hit me I can quickly record them.

Subscribe to a few leadership blogs and podcasts

People are talking leadership these days. Have you noticed? Participate. Listen. Contribute to the discussion. You’ll learn along the way.

Growing as a leader isn’t difficult. It does require an intentional effort on your part.

What are some ideas you have to improve as a leader…today?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Bill Pence says:

    These are some excellent suggestions Ron. I'll pass these on to those I lead and mentor. Thanks!

  • Pam says:

    I never really felt like I could be a leader but found myself in that role (people call me a leader). Reliance on God is the only way for it to be possible. That is first and foremost. Your blog is an excellent resource of tidbits of expertise that I can easily absorb at my own pace and it is so helpful. Reading a book is fine but it takes me a long time and unfortunately, I usually don't finish it. Admitting mistakes and working towards resolutions is also good.

  • lewis says:

    Your place will be valueble for me. Many thanks!…

  • Ron – excellent post as usual. one of the things that help me as a leaders to plan. My wife will be the first to tell you I have the dream/vision but oftentimes lack the plan. I am learning to put into practice the power of planning. Just wrote about this at my blog on how to plan:

    1. Make time to think it through
    2. Be prepared for opportunities when they come
    3. Establish some realistic goals
    4. Prepare for problems
    5. Calculate the cost
    6. Execute the plan


  • Joe Lalonde says:

    Ron, here's a few more:

    1. Go to events: Conferences, local meetups, etc.
    2. Learn something new: We've got to be growing if we want to continue to be relevant as a leader
    3. Begin teaching: When we share our knowledge, we're encouraged to grow more for when the next question comes.


    What are the spiritual benefits of joining a denominational church?

    1. Joining a denominational church does not bestow forgiveness of sins.
    2. Joining a denomination does not grant you admission into the body of Christ.
    3. Joining a denomination does not save anyone.
    4. Joining a denomination does not make you part of the kingdom of God on earth.

    The Scriptures do not speak of joining a denomination; nor do they tell us to join any church.

    The Lord adds the saved to His church. You cannot join the Lord's church. You cannot buy your way into the Lord's church. You cannot inherit membership in the the Lord's church.


    Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.


    A. They were being added because they believed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:29-32)
    B. They were being added because they accepted Jesus as Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
    C. They were being added because they obeyed the apostle Peter's command to repent and be baptized in water. (Acts 2:27-38)
    D. They were being added to the church because they believed Peter's word and were baptized. (Acts 2:40-41)

    The 3000 on the Day of Pentecost were added to the church by the Lord, because they were saved!



    Posted by Steve Finnell at 12:31 PM You are invited to follow myChristian blog at: or you can google search, steve finnell a christian view.

  • Thanks Pastor Ron for the fantastic ideas!
    (1)As a leader, I feel that it is important to have clear vision and challenge status quo. There is nothing wrong in being a visionary. This necessitates one to be creative and think outside the box.
    (2) It is important for a leader to observe things using all his senses. It will help him in his decision making process in the long run. (Observation is a skill which many do not possess these days)
    (3) It is good for the leader to have an undivided heart committed to a purpose.