15 Surprising Ways to Expand Leadership

Leadership expands when you learn and contracts when you know.

“If you stop learning, you might as well lie down and let them throw the dirt on you.” Ken Blanchard.

leadership expands when you learn and contracts when you know

Humility learns. Arrogance knows.

Not learning:

  1. Controlling people.
  2. Closing out people.
  3. Justifying decisions.
  4. Preventing mistakes.
  5. Explaining why you’re right.

In all your learning, learn to be a learner.

15 surprising ways to expand leadership: learning to learn

  1. Let others be right.
  2. Explore the grey. Black and white has its place, but learning happens in the grey where both/and embrace each other.
  3. Listen to people you don’t like. Chances are they’re different from you. Learning is exploring difference.
  4. Go “with” before going “against.” Learning includes challenging ideas, but understand before confrontation.
  5. Embrace confusion, don’t solve quickly. Thinking shifts to defending, once you think you know.
  6. Talk about what hurts. Pain teaches more than comfort.
  7. Believe the person you’re talking with knows something you don’t.
  8. Try something that feels awkward. Things that feel right align with the past and keep you doing more of the same. Warning: don’t violate your values when embracing awkward behaviors.
  9. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t know. Commit to find out.
  10. Say your thoughts outloud. Sometimes smart thoughts sound dumb when spoken out loud.
  11. Listen to smart people even if they have frailties. Don’t rule someone out because they have weaknesses.
  12. Write down your ideas. Writing is thinking.
  13. Relax about learning. Stress narrows your thinking. Take a breath. Walk. Laugh.
  14. Ask yourself, “What am I learning?” Do you have an answer?
  15. Say, “That’s interesting,” when you hear something that seems “wrong.”

This post is inspired by a recent conversation with Ken Blanchard. Here are some highlights of that conversation:

Ken Blanchard on being a learner (2:21):

What are you learning (2:06):

“One plus one is better than two.” Ken Blanchard

How might leader learn to learn?

What are you learning?

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