Sunday, February 28, 2016

4 Easy Steps to Become a Smarter Leader

When we go on trips and vacations, we constantly need directions to find a store or restaurant.  We simply fire up an app to help us find the destination.  When we want to see a menu before we go to a restaurant, we go to the restaurants website and look at their menu.  When we want to buy clothes but don’t want to go to the store, we access our favorite stores app or website and purchase the clothes.  We use technology everyday (almost every hour) to find almost all of our information.  It literally has become almost too easy to get information.

Let’s admit it, not everyone is connected with technology.  Even those who are not connected can still get information in a variety of ways to help themselves get better.  We all have to find a way to become more knowledgeable; it’s the society in which we live.  Gathering information and knowledge allows us to educate ourselves and share it with others.  Some are better at it than others.  The ones who are really good at educating themselves do it for a variety of reasons, but ultimately, they are dedicated lifelong learners to help others and their organization. 

Leaders who don’t consistently educate themselves don’t learn for a variety of reasons too.  Many times, their reasons consist of many excuses.  Excuses hurt a number of people besides the leader.

So where do those leaders go to eliminate their excuses?  I believe following the principles below can eliminate the need for excuses while making each leader smarter and helping their organizations:

As leaders, we need to focus on connecting with people.  It really is up to us on how we are going to connect.  I know for myself, I find it easier to utilize the great resources on the Internet and social media to help me grow as a leader.  Connecting with others who are also using social media to grow and enrich lives inspires me to continue to search for knowledge.  Building relationships with other leaders at conferences and workshops also helps fuel the passion to get better.  Building connections and networking with others allows us to find out what others are thinking and gives us feedback for our own learning.

As you continue to connect with leaders and staff, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.  Bouncing ideas off of your connected colleagues creates a clearer vision.  Even asking for an opinion from someone who is not related to your organization can produce positive results.  As Jim Brett, president of West Elm a home-furnishings retailer, states, “You just have to believe good ideas can come from anywhere.  Don’t stick to people who think like you; creative conversations are not meant to be lovefests. Engage with people with aren’t afraid to challenge your thought process or criticize your ideas.”  Working with others and sharing ideas is powerful for leaders.  Connecting and collaborating will make you better each time you take advantage of both.

When you have knowledge, you have confidence to do things differently.  When a leader has confidence, the organization is simply better.  The confidence flows to others.  What staff member doesn’t want to follow a confident leader?  When confidence is knowledge-based, it will help an organization even when things aren’t going well.  Confidence helps grit shine.  Every leader will have confidence when he or she knows how and where to get information to help their knowledge grow.  This confidence allows our creative juices to flow.

It is imperative as a leader to create and innovate to make a difference in an organization.  Creating will help a leader’s drive and passion.  When we create anything, it fuels our search for data so we can sustain success.   When we continue to want to have the best product and organization, we strive to be our best.  A continued push to acquire knowledge only benefits a leader’s ability to be creative and innovative. 

As leaders, we have to want to get better.  We have to want to succeed.  We have to want to grow and become smarter. 

The opportunity to get better for every leader is right there in front of us.  Don’t wait for the right time.  Do it now! 

Use your daily opportunities to connect, collaborate, build confidence, and be creative and innovative to fuel your growth as a leader.   The next time you go to a website to peruse a menu, find what you want to eat and find the time to become better as a leader.  With the available resources, we know how easy it is to do.

1 comment:

  1. What a great reflection opportunity for leaders to connect, collaborate, build confidence,and be creative and innovative to fuel your growth as a leader. What a great reminder, especially after attending NASSP and refueling! Thanks for sharing!