10 Leadership Lessons Learned From My Blog Commenters

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from blogging and reading other people’s blogs, it’s that insight doesn’t come only from the author. Many times the comment section is full of wisdom and knowledge about leadership.

Image by Ian Mottoo

Image by Ian Muttoo

The community on this site is very active and it can be easy to miss some of the great content shared within the comments. Today, I want to take time and share 10 leadership lessons that commenters on the blog have shared in the comment section.

1. Self confidence is contagious to a team. Leaders must have confidence in their ability to lead (make decisions, delegate, correct, advise, teach, mentor, train, motivate, etc). Amazing things happen because of confidence. And, it’s easy to prove. Walk into a room full of people with your head up and your shoulders back. Walk in as if you are in charge and watch people sit up. It’s almost funny.
Charles Hutchinson

Charles gave excellent advice on why self confidence is vital to great leadership. It makes people sit up and pay attention. Having self confidence also sends a message to people: You mean business!

2. The beauty of failure is that it’s a reminder that you are human. A human with a mission. That’s the question at the end of the day. Is my attempt connected to my mission, vision, strengths, passion, and purpose? Questions like: Am I being selfish? ignorant? self-dependent? or rebellious? This answers those 4 questions.
Josque Molina

Josque shared that failure is a chance to learn more about ourselves. When failure comes, if we’re willing, we can evaluate the failure and discover what we’re really saying is important.

3. Receiving kind words and emails is nice and it encourages me, However, if I counted on those nuggets of thanks I would be at rock bottom. I walked into a building the other day and a Soldier approached. She said Staff Sergeant “My fiance says your the greatest leader he has ever worked with”. If she had never said anything I never would have known my influence now extended to her.

I said that to relay a story and not build myself up. I am not great by any means; I am simply driven, committed, and passionate.
TJ Trent

You can see words of affirmation and appreciation are vital but they’re not everything. Don’t count on the applause of others to keep you going.

4. I focus on my plan going forward. If things aren’t going well, or I’m just tired, I try to create a way to “see” my way out of it. It might be reminding myself that things like this are only for a season – or reminding myself of things that seemed insurmountable in the past but worked out fine.
Tom Dixon

We can see here that creating a good mental picture in our head is important. It allows us to shift from feeling bad about our situation to finding solutions.

5. I was not really successful until I shifted my mindset to “crowdsoucing” my mentors – I realized that no one person had all the answers, and I also discovered that I had been expecting too much one-on-one attention.

Books & podcasts also became my best friends – these resources also helped to enrich my face-to-face conversations.

Lastly, always look for how you can add value to your mentor(s).
Jonathan Harrison

We can see Jonathan’s finding mentors everywhere. He’s not looking only for local mentors but mentors in books, audio, blogs, etc. Don’t forget your mentors can be people you’ve never met.

6. It’s kind of ironic, but the best tip I have for adaptation is realizing that all “customers” are seeking the same few things out of any interaction. Generally speaking (and off the cuff), I think people want to feel like they’ve been understood and that you’re dedicated to meeting their needs and offering them the benefit of your expertise. Once you realize that this is a universal principle, you can adjust and apply your experiences to any new challenge. It’s how I’ve moved from pitch sales to food service to funeral service and now am moving into higher education with small periods of adjustment and without (dramatically) missing a beat.
Justin Buck

Justin’s found a key to leadership. Most people are seeking the same results from interactions. Are you offering: a sense of understanding, dedication, or your expertise? If not, you might want to start following Justin’s insights.

7. One of the best ways for new leaders to become better leaders is to do “reverse interviews.” Take trusted, key players who know what’s going on out to lunch and ask, “If you were in my shoes, what would you do?” You can also take other leaders from other organizations out to lunch and ask the same question. The insights and wisdom you’ll gain from both groups is amazing!
Kent Julian

Did you catch what Kent does here? You can increase your leadership ability by asking others to honestly evaluate how you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask those you’re leading to give an honest evaluation. You will get insights into increasing your leadership skill.

8. Here’s something I realized in school which is semi-related. I took a course on electronic music and we would compose pieces to play to the class regularly. Inevitably, everyone would be disappointed with what they did because they were comparing their piece with what they envisioned in their head. However, the class just heard the piece. So most of the time the class would love it – because they didn’t see the standard of perfection that you had in your head. They just saw reality.
Loren Pinilis

We can often hold ourselves to higher standards than others. While it’s great to hold ourselves to these higher standards, be willing to realize even when your work doesn’t live up to your expectations others are inspired by your work.

9. Stay Passionate because your team is looking to you for the passion and motivation to keep moving forward.
Lauren Phelps

Lauren shared this unconventional leadership tip and I thought it was fantastic. Our passion seeps out of us and into our team. We’ve got to keep the level of passion high if we want our teams to be excited and willing to do the difficult work.

10. Other ways? How about also sharing some grown-up things about yourself with your team?

– I was really scared about that, and your input was so helpful.

– I’m pretty upset about this, but…

– I had those same challenges, and …
Mike Loomis

Mike shared this on the blog post It’s Time To Start Using Adult Language. His suggestions on ways to use adult language in a conversation was great. He thinks it’s great to share our experiences and to share our feelings with our team. Amazing advice.

Can you see the value of engaging in the comments of a blog? There’s hundreds of thousands of people out there sharing their wisdom through commenting.

Be willing to dive into the comment sections of your favorite blogs and engage the commenters. You may be surprised at the leadership insights you’ll discover!

Question: What leadership insights have you discovered from the comment section of a blog? Please share these discoveries in the comment section below.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.