We can learn from others, in theory

Here is a riddle for our times: what attracts most attention when it is not visible? The answer; Leadership. Whether in politics, sport, business or in our communities, people recognise good leadership when they see it. They crave good leadership when it is absent.

This attention attracts researchers, writers and thinkers. From these emerge great ideas, stories, theory and models for good practice. Sometimes they associate with something in the air, the mood or the moment. Mindfulness is a case in point. Good leaders have always understood the need to be what we now call mindful. A google search for ‘mindful leadership’ will get you 44 million results, in just 0.62 seconds! I’ve counted at least 25 books with these words in the title. Likewise, agility. Good leaders have always understood the importance of being flexible. A google search for ‘Agile leadership’ will yield 128 million results. Then there are academic theories, mostly based on sound research into what has worked well and less well in the past. All are interesting, some are useful!

That leadership ideas, stories, theory and models have attracted so much interest and inspired so much thought and writing is a consequence of a more connected and digital world. The more the better, there is room for anything that opens a new door for the reader. But it would be easy to be confused by the noise, to feel daunted by jargon and more damaging, to think that good leadership is beyond your reach. It is not. We can cut through the noise.

You are on a leadership journey and like any journey there are choices to make. Look for learning experiences that put you at the heart of the relationship, where the provider talks about learning rather than training. Seek out content, ideas and tools that are relatable, where you can see their practical application today, in the real world.

Sure, there will be twists and turns on the way. You will succeed at most things, fail at a few.  Be curious and embrace the abundance of great ideas, stories, theories and models. Take away what is useful and look ahead to how you might use it. There is much to be learned from others and the opportunities and options in our more connected and digital world have never been richer. There is a solution to our riddle that is right for you.

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