Leaders Learn to be agile
There’s no doubt about it, we live in a complex world. And in this global economy it is important to be agile; to be able to quickly respond to the changing demands of our society and our economy. Adapt to change or else. It’s the reality of the new economy.
Grow or die.
There is nothing in between.
Leaders Learn to Promote The Learning Organization
The best way we grow is through continual learning.
Peter Senge, in his book The Fifth Discipline, advanced the principal of the Learning Organization. Basically, a learning organization is one that engages all the members of the organization in continual learning. They recognize that as everyone learns, the opportunities grow through greater knowledge and capability. These companies invest in their people to move them and the organization forward.
Leaders Know This Personally
The most influential leaders learn this lesson through their own experience. Warren Bennis said, “It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers.”
Leaders know this because they live it. In their desire to truly serve the people they lead, leaders discover that they must constantly expand their capacity. That doesn’t mean expanding it in terms of time or even effort. Great leaders expand their capacity to think, which can only happen through learning and growth. As we mentioned above, staying agile is critical. Agility is only possible through growth. Grow or die.
Benefits of the Learning Organization
The result is a more empowered organization, one that is flexible enough to adapt, They develop a mindset of creative solutions. It’s been proven that the more we learn the more creative we become. Employees collaborate more. There is improved employee morale. Productivity rises. And you create an ongoing legacy so that when the inevitable happens and someone moves on to another role, there is someone ready to step up into that role. Real sustained success as a leader and an organization comes from intentional continual learning. There is no substitute or shortcut.
[tweetthis]Sustained success comes from intentional continual learning. #leaderslearn[/tweetthis]
How to get started on becoming A learning organization
Just think DIME
The basic tenets that get a leader or organization on the road to becoming a vibrant learning organization are contained in the acronym DIME.
Growth has to occur on a daily basis. I often talk about being a 1%er and this is what it is all about. Focus on growing yourself by just 1% a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but over time it compounds and at the end of a year you have grown yourself over 365%. As the saying goes, by the mile its a trial but by the inch its a cinch. This does not necessarily have to be formal learning every time. It could be something as simple as having the team reflect back on the day and talk about lessons learned.
Too many times we chase the next SHINY OBJECT. Being a high “I” personality on the DiSC profile, this is one of my biggest struggles. I am very attracted to THE NEXT BIG THING. The seminar postcard that came in the mail. The book someone recommended we get. The video on LinkedIn or Facebook. And we pursue these without really knowing whether it meets our needs or the needs of the organization. Chasing the shiny object is not a growth plan, it’s a random series of events. We must be more intentional about choosing the growth path that best meets our immediate and future needs.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Leaders learn their best lessons from making mistakes. Success doesn’t occur with big time screw ups. Give yourself permission to take risks and make mistakes.
Give your employees that same permission to go out and make mistakes without fear of punishment. It is from our mistakes where we are going to learn some of our best lessons about how to move forward.
One of the best stories I have heard on this is about an engineer who discovers a design flaw he made. He calculated it was going to cost the company over $150,000 to fix it. He knew he had to tell the CEO. He fully expects to be fired for this grievous mistake. Late in the day, he reluctantly makes his way into the CEO’s office and slowly unfolds the tale of this costly disaster. When he finishes he says, “Well, I’m sorry. I’ll go clear out my desk.” The CEO says, “No you won’t! I just paid $150,000 for you to learn a lesson! I’m not letting you go now! But you better learn it!“
Leaders learn by engaging in this learning process. Encourage your employees to engage with one another so that not only do they learn from their mistakes but also from the mistakes of others. This can significantly shorten the learning curve and allows us to move forward at a much quicker pace to become the dynamic learning organization that is prepared for the future.
How do your leaders learning? How do you learn? Share your comments below.
Walking the path of a learning leader and learning organization is challenging. Never do it alone! Let me walk along with you and help you succeed. Schedule your free Discovery Strategy Sessiontoday!