It’s A Paradox #2
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

We don’t often use the word paradox, so I started with this definition last week. Paradox is a noun defined as a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that, when investigated or explained, may prove to be well-founded or true. The paradox we looked at last week was that leaders lead collectively and personally.

This Friday is National Reach as High as You Can Day, so I thought I would grab a paradox related to learning. Great leaders are both teachers and learners. They know that to reach their fullest potential, they must take others with them. They also realize you can’t give what you don’t have, so they focus on learning daily. Here are three ways the best leaders live out this paradox.

  1. They learn from others. Great leaders realize that everyone can teach them something. Common leaders say, listen to me when I speak, but the best leaders actively invite people to speak with them so they can learn something new. Common leaders are always looking for respect, but the best leaders are always looking for input, especially from those who may disagree with them.
  2. They set up regular learning sessions for their teams. When I was at Selflock, I used a portion of my weekly staff meeting for learning moments. Each leadership team member was asked to bring something new they had learned the previous week to the meeting. It could be an article, a YouTube video, or some experiential learning. As people shared, we learned, and they were able to practice their presentation skills.
  3. They share what they have learned. When you are around a learning leader, you know it. They can’t help but share because they are excited about what they have learned. They develop systems to collect what they learn, and at a moment’s notice, they can pull them out and share when appropriate. By sharing, they spread the wealth and embed the learning deep into their memory.

Why is all this so important? Because everyone deserves to be led well.