Like character (see previous post), we talk a lot about being a teachable leader and there's good reason to. The moment we stop learning is the moment we stop growing which is the moment our leadership can begin to stagnate.
One criticism that may be said of the current Gen Z & Millennial generation is their apparent arrogance of unteachableness ~ the quality or condition of being unteachable. Some commentators say this is just a product of laziness. Others talk about how this may tip into a sense of entitlement. Alternatively, it could be viewed as a lack of patience, fuelled by an addiction to technology, where answers are readily available, so the need to learn from others is moot and simply becomes 'I know that'.
Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. Instead, we must be leaders who live by a different attitude. Let's not be "taken to school" because we think we know better. We will end up defeated, overrun and lost in the battle any leadership journey can create. Instead, embrace the truth that leaders have to be willing, and not only willing by intentional, about learning. To use every arena, every circumstance, every challenge, every encounter, as teachable opportunities.
Why would you not live like this? Our opinion on its own is not enough, will never be enough.
We need greater depth to our leadership and the kind of depth we should crave only comes from time and from learning.
Maximise your teachability and learning capacity with these 6 very simple practices:
Capture Your Thoughts
Easy. Be ready to capture your thoughts as you read, watch, remember, and experience life in all its beauty. From the sublime to the ridiculous, everything can teach you something, even if it's how not to do something.
Protect Your Time
Make a 30-minute appointment with yourself each week. If you don't schedule it, then it won't happen. Remove distractions and create some space to think, reflect, read, wonder and imagine.
Enjoy The Journey
Leadership has never been about reaching a destination, that particular title or role but rather about enjoying the journey and learning in every moment along the way. Learn to not be in such a hurry to get somewhere. Take in the view instead.
Great leaders ask questions. It is one of the simplest ways to glean wisdom. Always be ready. Think, if you could spend just a few minutes with a leader you want to learn from, what's the one question you would want to make sure you ask them?
Get Yourself a Coach
Even the greatest athletes have a coach, someone who can challenge them, speak into their world, who observes their performance with an eye to help them improve it. We all need different coaches in our lives to help us keep learning in all the different spheres of life.
Be a Reader
Harry S. Truman said, "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers". Love it. One of the easiest ways to gain new thinking is to read about it. Pick a recommended read from someone you trust and start reading today!
Which one do you need to work on to improve your teachability?