Embrace the Era of Abundant Learning
We are at the end of the era of where leaders are sent away to be developed and to have things done to them in business schools and retreat centres. Learning needs to move closer to the centre of the action where everything is real.
This trend has been evident for some time and now amplified by the pandemic. We can see the rise in the number of podcasts and virtual events as the helping professions (including coaches, advisors, and mediators) move to an in-the-moment model.
This is progress. Adult learning should be delivered on the job, close to the job or off the job in that order of preference. Learning should only be off the job if there is only a real and distinct reason to do that.
We can only learn leadership in the crucible. This moment is a great time to learn who you are as a leader; how resilient you are and what you are really good at. Finding time to reflect on your leadership is key to moving your learning forward. If you just go blindly through this crisis in a panic you will not learn very much. To harness your potential you must find moments to pay attention on purpose to your way of being at this time.
In times of crisis you need to be able to make decisions based on what it right and not on what is most comfortable. When you are really scared – what have you got to hang on to? The only thing is to hang on to is – what is the right thing to do? Because nothing else can be trusted as real.
Finding the right thing to do is easier if you can simplify things to their essence. In fashion design, Coco Chanel mastered this with the little black dress. Get rid of all the unnecessary elements, get rid of the fluff, capture the essence, and build from there. That is the right thing to do.
The question is how do you get through the complexity to the simple stuff that matters?
It involves standing up for what you believe in. It includes abiding by your principles. While there are situations where doing this can feel uncomfortable – it is very seldom wrong.
Perhaps the important question is not what the world needs at this moment. Rather the important question is what makes you come alive? Because the world needs you to come alive.
There is no one way to become a better leader. There is no formula. The only way is to be the student of your own unique journey towards becoming a better version of yourself.
Once you move away from looking for a recipe for effective leadership and realise that you have to create your own recipe, then you are on the road to learning to be the leader that you were born to be. The important thing is not to assume that you are that leader already.
While this may feel like a time of scarcity and crisis it also a time of amazing abundance – an abundance of learning.
On the theme of abundant learning, integrated with the here and now, the Catalyzing the Future event takes place September 30th.
It is free, it is generous, and it is global. Register here.
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Read about Mediating the Future.