Leadership Matters: Relevancy Is the Key

11/13/2014 01:24 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2015

"Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes." -- Peter Drucker

Leadership is NOT like riding a bike. You don't learn it and forget it, knowing that at any time, without practice, you can just hop back on and ride.

This is because unlike the motions of riding a bike, the parameters of leadership are always changing, no matter what you do for a living.

You are constantly in motion. Even if you stand still, the world moves past you, and you have to stay in balance. It's like a race that never ends. You have to get up and ride every day just to stay on the course.

In other words, you must stay on top of your game to stay in your game.

You have to stay relevant.

Effective leaders are learners. They're eager to know about the latest advances in training and development in their chosen field. They focus on relevant information and up-to-date technology. But they also know the power of relationships.

They know that their network is the main driver of their net worth.

It's very easy to get lost in cyberspace, trying to keep up with the latest technology while you fail to keep up with your personal and professional relationships. This is why you have to stay balanced. You might not even notice that you're off track until you look up from your phone and realize that you're alone, in the dark and hollow silo of technology addiction.

The traditional way of looking at things may not work for you.

If you stop learning, you might not be able to communicate effectively. Think about it. If you're still struggling with sending a photo on email while your competitor is using cutting-edge video technology to attract customers, you will fall behind.

And if you never bother to speak with the people around you, you will eventually become irrelevant to them. You will be disconnected, and disabled in your efforts at success.

It's almost impossible to keep pace with the changes in your field and the people in your life, especially if you are too broad in your approach. That's why you must make a choice.

What matters to you? Who matters to you? What is relevant to you?

It won't take years for you to become irrelevant if you stop learning, relating and evolving. It won't even take months in most cases. In some fields, you can become irrelevant in a matter of weeks. With some people, a lapse in communication from you can cause a disconnect for a very long time.

Remember this.

Stay relevant. Stay connected. Stay focused.

You, and your leadership, matter.

"But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this worldwide neighborhood into a worldwide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.

We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.