Creating a Learning Culture

Ok, so you’re learning every day.

But what about creating a leadership learning culture ?

As well as learning every day, leaders also create leaders around them.

You’ve heard me share with you one of the fundamentals of The Leadership Challenge – Leadership is everyone’s business.

So here’s one suggestion to help you develop leadership in others.

Next time you have a team meeting, or maybe even in a less formal environment, say, over a team lunch, ask “What have you learned as a leader in the last week ?”

I’m sure that question will give you very instructive answers. Ask them what they have learned as leaders.

They may even report something they learned from you that you didn’t realize you were doing – and what a great learning opportunity that is for you ?

They may say something which you, as leader didn’t think of – and again, what a great learning moment for you – as well as the others.

They may say something that you recognize and know is a great and positive leadership behavior – and they have recognized and learned from that.

When you make this question : what have you learned as a leader this week ? you not only remind them of the importance of learning leadership, but I’m sure you’re going to learn as well.

When you create a leadership learning environment, amazing things will happen.

Are Leaders ‘Vulnerable’?

Here’s the quote I want to share with you this week:

“My challenge was that I felt a personal vulnerability. Once I got over that, so much changed.”

Mona Almagboul, Team Leader, Zain Sudan

So let me tell you about Mona. Mona was on a five day Leadership Challenge program I conducted in Sudan. She was one of 240 staff members from one company in Sudan there who went through this program.

I could see in the workshop how much what we talked about connected to Mona.

I re-connected with Mona around 12 months after the workshop as I wanted to find out what sort of difference she was making – and how much The Leadership Challenge had impacted on her after 12 months.

Mona had just returned from a 4 week break when I spoke to her. She said she wouldn’t have been able to take that break if she hadn’t built the relationship with her team as she had done and if she hadn’t developed the level of trust she had. Enabling Others to Act, the 4th of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

“They don’t need me anymore” was her reaction to how the team are working now.

But when I asked her what she found most challenging in her journey of growth, she referred to her personal feeling of vulnerability.

And vulnerability – at a personal level – is something that many managers and aspiring leaders feel. Her recognition of that sense of vulnerability is a starting point in her move forward.

We all feel a sense of vulnerability at some stage and once we recognize that and then believe in what we’re doing, believe -I and know that we’re on the right course, then we can make some positive, impactful change.

It doesn’t mean that we’ll never feel vulnerable in future, but it reduces the chances and allows each of us to become more empowered as we move forward.

I know Mona is doing really well as a leader. I was inspired when she shared her Vision for where she’s taking her team – and `I’m sure her team was inspired, too.

But that admission of ‘vulnerability’ is important. It’s not a weakness.