Here’s a really obvious reminder. I speak to executive teams, and slightly larger groups of folks — usually presenting an extended book synopsis. I do this in all kinds of organizations. In some, the “leaders” (the CEO; city managers for municipal governments) show up. And, he/she doesn’t just show up. They show, up, greet folks, interact, and sit on or near the front row, taking notes, engaging in small group discussions. In other words, they are there as fellow learners.
And, when this happens, the people see their leader as a fellow learner, taking the content of the session seriously. And that example, that model, carries weight.
And, in other places, the leader is nowhere to be found. And, though this is subtle, I think this is a disappointment, and maybe even a de-motivator for the participants to take the learning opportunity as seriously as they could, or should.
Oh, I know – of course, I know – that leaders can’t be everywhere at once. But, if a leader takes training and learning sessions seriously, then showing up when such a session is on the schedule is a major reinforcement to the idea that “this is a serious part of our work and growth and development as an organization.”
So, if you are a leader, do your folks a favor, and show up! It really is a simple thing, and it can make quite a difference.
And, by the way, if you are not yet in such a leadership position, then take full advantage of every learning opportunity you can find. The more you learn, the better chance you have of rising to a higher position of leadership.