“In the end, the learners will inherit the earth, and the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
George Land wrote the classic book, Grow or Die: The Unifying Principle of Transformation. His ideas, based on quantum mechanics, offered three principles about the structure of change for survival, growth and learning. The three keys to growing as a company and an individual are:
- Replication of Success
Just as companies are required to change and reinvent themselves to compete effectively, leaders’ ability to learn and grow continuously is critical to their own and the company’s ongoing success. Unfortunately, many leaders, like companies, fail to survive economic downturns, global competition or disruptive technology. They stop taking responsibility for their own learning. Instead, they rely on what has worked in the past and miss seeing what is needed for success in the future.
Consider for a moment your own learning curve. When is the last time as a leader that you actually had to “stretch” yourself to learn something new? In the first phase of your career it is likely that you identified skills and capabilities required for you to succeed. As you experimented with new skills, you discovered what worked and didn’t work for you as a leader.
Unfortunately, many leaders stop experimenting and engaging in challenging learning experiences once they’ve achieved success. Instead of learning something new, they embrace what worked in the past and stay in a comfort zone. While it is important to build on the strengths that made you successful, it is also important to examine and consider innovations, challenge assumptions and seek ways to see the world anew. To explore whether or not you’re GROWING or DYING as a leader, ask yourself:
- What one capability, if you mastered it, would have the greatest impact on your future success? What are you doing to build that capability?
- What are you doing for your own development over the next six months?
- How are you modeling and engaging others as a learner(experimentation, replication or reinvention)?
- What are you doing to ensure you’re not “retired” in place?
Learning is a process and GROWth requires leaders to:
G – Grow new assets and capabilities yearly.
R – Read and listen to new ideas voraciously.
O – Offer to teach/share what you’ve learned with others.
W – Write down learnings (journal) for future use.
To help determine whether or not you are a learning leader, download Innolect’s Are you a Learning Leader? quiz.
“…learning has very little to do with taking in information. Learning, instead is a process that is about enhancing capacity. Learning is about building the capability to create that which you previously couldn’t create. It’s ultimately related to action, which information is not.” Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
To gain insights on how to further your GROWTH as a leader, contact:
Kittie W. Watson, Ph.D., President and Founder Innolect
“Growing the Leader in Everyone.”