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'Leaders readily embrace new ideas' by Dag Heward-Mills

By Dag Heward-Mills
 Dag Heward-Mills
Dag Heward-Mills
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How can you stop learning new things? If what you know now is all that you will ever know, then it is unfortunate.

A true leader is a true learner! I learn so many new things every year that I get amazed. That is why the Bible teaches that to the making of many books there is no end.

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor (Ecclesiastes 4:13-14).

The effect of not learning new things is generalised poverty. When you cannot learn anymore you cannot progress. Learning new things and embracing new ideas leads to innovation.

All over the world, wealth has come to people who have been innovative.

Four signs that you are not learning new things

• You are not learning new things when you are not reading anything new. This is where there is no new book you are reading and there is no new material that you are studying.

• You are not learning new things when you are not implementing any new ideas in your home, marriage, your business and in your life.

• You are not learning new things when you are not under pressure to study, to practice and to train. If you are a singer who has to learn a new song you will be under pressure to learn the lyrics, practice and train to do this new song.

• You are not learning new things when you are not conscious of mockers and scoffers around you.

Scoffers and mockers gather around anyone doing something new; waiting to say he will not make it. An innovator is at risk of being mocked.

When you are learning new things, you sense people observing you and laughing at you.

Many people feel that they know everything. This is unfortunate! No true leader thinks like that. I have realized that I can learn things from people in my own city. I can learn things from spiritual leaders as well as secular leaders.

Do you consider yourself a leader? Then decide to never stop learning. You need to understand that learning does not only take place by reading books. You can learn a lot from the things around you. You can learn a lot from the people that you see every day. You can learn a lot from your fellows. You can learn a lot from rival companies and businesses. Never stop learning new things!

Readily embrace new ideas

Your leadership will be stunted if you are not prepared to embrace new ideas. The world is constantly changing. Old systems and approaches no longer work. Computers have refashioned the way we do things. Seasons change. Needs change. And people change. That is why God constantly introduces fresh and new things. And that is why we must be open to new things!

I am very open to new ideas. I do not mind changing things I have been doing in a particular way for a long time. I find that God is a God of positive change! God is a God of improvement!

I notice how people laugh at me when I suggest new ideas. I have observed with amazement how some architects, engineers, technicians, builders, lawyers, accountants and pastors are resistant to new concepts.

I notice how they quietly sneer and giggle among themselves as they listen to me expound some new idea. “We don’t do things this way.” “It has not been done before!” “We are not in America.” “If we had what they have in Europe, we could have done it.” “You know, they have much more equipment abroad.” “It is not possible in Ghana.” “It’s not realistic.”

I have heard these statements and sensed these messages even when they are not voiced out.

Why do we not try to discover new things? Why do we not explore new horizons? Openness to new ideas is a secret to moving ahead as a leader. No wonder innovators are ahead in almost every sphere of life.

God is a God of change. He is doing new things. Embrace new ideas with honesty. Try a new method. You will be amazed at the results of that attempt.

A new way of doing things may be the key to pushing you out ahead of everyone else in your field. When I practised the lay ministry I did not do it because I saw others doing it. I did it because it needed to be done even though it was new.

I am following my Heavenly Father who is a God of new things. Be like your heavenly Father! There is no better mentor!

The writer is the founder of the Lighthouse Group of churches