Leaders are learners. It’s an axiom as old as leadership itself.
I used to say leaders are readers. But that’s never been entirely true. Because you don’t need to be an avid reader to be a constant learner.
Some learn by collaboration and conversation. Some by getting their hands dirty. Some are visual learners. Others have to make their own mistakes to find out where the edge of the fence is.
And some learn best by one of the oldest methods of all.
We learn more by listening than we’re aware of. Many pre-literate cultures have a rich oral tradition. But even in our literate and technically advanced society, we still share family stories, hear sermons, sing hymns, and more.
We routinely take in more information through our ears than through words on a page.
I’ve always been a reader. I still am. Especially when it comes to sharpening my church leadership skills. But now, with the advent of new communication devices, I’ve added a way of learning about church leadership that I didn’t expect to like.
Selfishly, I started listening to them after being interviewed on some of them. But now it’s become part of my learning routine.
Listening will never replace reading. Nothing can do that. But here are 8 reasons why listening to podcasts is a significant and valuable part of my church leadership learning experience.
1. They're free
Some of the best new ideas from some of the best leaders around.
2. They're portable
I can start listening to a podcast as I’m getting dressed in the morning, then keep listening as I drive.
As much as I love to read, books aren’t that portable.
3. They’re time-savers
What used to be lost time can turn into a learning opportunity.
If I’m early for an appointment, I can keep listening while I wait. Or while I shop. Or work out.
4. They're current
Leadership is changing fast. So fast that by the time some information makes it into a book, it’s old already.
This is one of the reasons I like blogs and podcasts for new and time-sensitive information. Like a written blog, a podcast can be recorded and uploaded almost in real time, getting cutting-edge information to me while it’s still fresh.
5. They're subscribable
Once I find a podcast I like, I hit the Subscribe button and never miss an episode.
I now have a world-class leadership learning library with me everywhere I go. And it updates automatically.