To lead an organization is to be regularly called on for perspective. To grow in that role does not just mean to learn, it involves embracing the identity of a Learner.
Other identities tempt us:
- Telling (do this!)
- Doing (let me do this)
- Adjudicator (so and so is responsible for this)
- Representative (we think you should do this)
- Innovator (we should build something)
- Fixer (I will take care of it)
- Observer (I will watch you do it)
- Listener (So, you are saying you want to do this?)
- Expert (I know what needs to be done)
However, we are LEARNING that:
Curiosity (iteration) is actually faster because it helps us reframe problems around real issues. And when we are curious, we can be more ready to incorporate what we don’t yet know into any solution/action for problems we are just now learning about.
Curiosity helps us extend our learning in a loop. We can live in an action-reflection cycle rather than a start, stop, and start over whirlpool.
Other leaders we cultivate are more likely to commit to transformational action when they are learning, rather than when they are simply told what to do.
Other leaders we cultivate will experience greater success when they also embrace the identity of a Learner. We learn jointly with them, modeling the very thing we seek to develop in others.
Now, ask yourself the following:
- Which identities other than Learner tempt me?
- Which ones might show up and block my learning if I am not careful, especially in team meetings?
- How might I more fully begin with and maintain a learning mode as I lead?
- How might I develop more of a community of skilled learners among my team?
- What questions do I need to be asking next?