Look, I get it. A true leader, at the top of any hierarchy, is smarter, better, wiser than others around them. They “know” what they need to know, and they are not much open to constructive re-directing. And, why should they be? – they got to the top with what they know and what they do. Any re-directing needs to happen among those other folks…
And, yet, I think it’s pretty obvious by now that everyone has something new to learn, and some personal tweaking is needed pretty constantly for all of us; leaders included. So, if you are a leader, in any definition of that word, let me make this appeal – please attend some training and development sessions, both within and without your company.
Oh, I don’t care what you call these sessions; workshops, conferences, training and development sessions within your company… But, I’m talking about events that you go to not to lead, or speak, but to participate,… in “learner” mode.
Here are three key reasons for leaders to attend such sessions.
#1 — Leaders need to learn.
Yes, they do. They have new things to learn, and they really are like everyone else – they should take advantage of every learning opportunity they can get.
#2 — Leaders need to set the example as learners for other learners.
This may be just as important. If leaders believe that training and development sessions are good for the “troops,” the employees, then if they set the example while being seen as a participant themselves, it will go a long way to motivate the others to genuinely learn from such sessions.
#3 — Leaders need to congregate and connect with the folks as often as possible.
We all know this – a conversation during a break can be a terrific moment of connection. What if the leader was seen in the midst of such conversations with “regular” employees during such breaks? This is called “modeling,” and “listening.” Both are valuable.
Now, I know, I know…, a leader’s time is really important, and a leader may not have time for such sessions. But, once a month, or at least once a quarter, to be seen, as a fellow learner, modeling learning, genuinely learning, interacting during breaks… this could be a really easy addition to your schedule that might be worth every minute of a leader’s time, in a number of ways.