Are you a Know-It-All...

Learning-Leader
...or a Learn-It-All?Earlier this year, we introduced what has turned into an ongoing discussion of one of the key skills of effective 21st Century Leaders. Critical Thinking, or the lack thereof, seems to routinely creep into the conversation because we constantly run into evidence it still needs to be reinforced in the leadership development conversation. While we’ve given examples in previous posts, one that continues to pop up goes something like:Me: What are you trying to achieve?Them: I don't want to do this and/or I don't like to do thatMe: OK, so what do you want to do?Them: I don't know.Of course, the real conversation goes much longer than the example above, but you get the idea. More thought on what they don;t want that what they do. Another different, but related, conversation goes something like:Me: I think this is the course of action we should take.Them: I disagree. I don't...
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“A mind that knows how to think is more empowered...

brain How do you think?
...than a mind that only knows what to think.”Through the course of the summer, I kept bumping into this uneasy feeling as I experienced what was happening around me.  I kept asking myself with each new situation, “What were they thinking?” As it turns out, after coming across Neil deGrasse Tyson’s words in the title of this article, I was asking the wrong question. I should have asked, “How were they thinking?” as I now believe that answer has far greater ramifications in our leadership-challenged world of today! Let’s break down his words further to see what we can learn relative to 21st Century Leadership.Only knowing what to think ~ If we define thinking as “…concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it.” as William Deresiewicz does in his October 2009 lecture to the plebe (freshman) class at the United States Military Academy at West Point, then...
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Never Stop Learning…

…because Life Never Stops Teaching.A common discussion over the past several months has been how leaders stay relevant in today’s dynamic economic and political environment.  What was relevant five years ago is passe’ today.  What is relevant today will likely be on its way to obsolescence three years from now.  What is even more surprising is how many leaders seem to believe they can stay relevant with the skills, knowledge and attitudes learned years before.  They lament the need for different outcomes for their business (for profit or non-profit) and yet spend little time actively engaging in the process of staying relevant, the process of continuous learning!  Let’s break down each of the key areas of learning with some ideas to stay relevant in each one.Learning Relevant Skills – Skills are the things you need to know how to do to be an effective leader.  Goal Planning, Effective Communications, Time Management/Priority...
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We live in an Information-rich...

...Knowledge-poor world. In 2010, the Institute For The Future (IFTF) published a report titled, “Future Work Skills 2020.” The report outlines six key drivers of change over the next ten years as well as ten skills required by the future workforce to meet those disruptive drivers of change.  Of course, it is not only the future workforce that needs to develop these future skills.  The future leadership structure, which enables the workforce to optimize these skills, will also need to adapt to the new reality.  As we are now four years into this cycle, let’s see how well leaders are doing in enabling these skills. According to the IFTF, the six descriptive drivers of change are: Extreme Longevity, Rise of Smart Machines and Systems, Computational World, New Media Ecology, Superstructed Organizations and a Globally Connected World. In order to adapt to these disruptive forces, the ten skills for success identified by...
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Are we there yet?

How many times have we heard that refrain from our children (or maybe from our significant other!?!) when their impatience got the best of them? Or maybe we’ve said it ourselves in different situations for the same reason. In most cases, it is because they don’t have a sense of time or speed relative to setting correct expectations of arrival.In the business sense, whether for-profit or non-profit, we find ourselves either half way through our operational year or possibly just beginning a new one. We are likely compiling data telling us how well our business has performed over the last 6 months because of that natural halfway or transition point. Or are we? This issue focuses on the all-important role of measurements as a crucial element of effective business alignment. We are talking about not only what we measure on a regular basis, but also how we measure what we do...
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