What makes an exceptional leader? Great leaders do more than direct the collective action of their employees, rather they inspire and create conditions for them to excel. They are attuned to the needs and wants of others and continuously commit themselves to connecting with them, helping others excel. Even more, a great leader accepts their effectiveness requires continuous learning. They are willing to change and personally manage that change through self-directed processes. Great leaders are great learners.
I read in a recent Businessweek article about Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist and founder of two Fortune 500 companies. He is an ideal example of a great leader and lifelong learner. The article says, “he reads four newspapers a day to keep abreast of both this dynamic environment and his many interests, from urban school reform to medical and scientific research. No matter that his impressive business career has spanned more than five decades, Broad is still learning.”
We work with leaders around the world, teaching them a model of personal leadership development. It’s a self-reinforcing model with steps for learning, doing and teaching behavior modifications. The model can also be used for the building of bench strength, succession and a culture of learning leaders who are open and positioned for creating new and different futures on a personal, team and organizational level.
Over the next four weeks, we will discuss the primary elements of this Learn-Do-Teach model from awareness and recognition of the need for change to practicing the new behaviors.
Before next week, identify a behavior, belief or attitude in yourself that you aim to change. We’ll work together over the next four weeks via this blog to intentionally change, renewing your leadership effectiveness and personal satisfaction.
THE CONVERSATION: Share the results of your experiment in the comments below or contact the author directly at
Donna Rae Smith is the founder and CEO of Bright Side Inc, a behavioral strategy company that teaches leaders to be masters of change. For more than two decades, Donna Rae Smith and the Bright Side team have been recognized as innovators in organizational and leadership development and the key partner to over 250 of the world’s most influential companies. Donna Rae is a guest leadership blogger for Smart Business and the author of two leadership books, Building Your Bright Side and The Power of Building your Bright Side. For more information, please visit www.bright-side.com or contact Donna Rae at
. Join Donna Rae Smith and Smart Business for a Webinar on November 17th. The webinar is called Challenge Change: 4 strategies for mastering organizational change. It is at 1 p.m. EST and you can register on the Smart Business webinar page.
Leaders. Change. Results.™
® Copyright 2010 Bright Side, Inc. All Rights Reserved