Often when we think about becoming a better leader we think about what we can do – learn more skills, do things differently (or better), change a particular approach. And of course, all that will indeed help.
Watch this video
But this video puts a slightly different spin on becoming a better leader. It’s a conversation between the Past President of the International Coaching Federation Damian Goldvarg and David Peterson, Google’s Director of Executive Coaching and Leadership.
Here, Peterson suggests that becoming a better leader is about the ability to deal with new, challenging and changing circumstances and experiences; and that the best way to do that is to constantly expose yourself to diverse people/thoughts/books and experiences.
It’s an interesting way of looking at development – that is less about you as a leader and more about the people and experiences that you expose yourself to.
More of the same, same
Think about this for a second. How often do we repeat what is known? How often do we recruit in the same image of ourselves or our experiences? How often do we read the same genre of book or watch the same sorts of films? How diverse is our network of people – both friendship and professional?
All of this same same simply perpetuates what we already know. It doesn’t prepare us for what is coming. It doesn’t give diversity of thought.
So, this week, my suggestion for becoming a better leader has little to do with you – and more to do with those around you. Take a good look at the diversity in all aspects of your life.
A good first step might be to read something completely out of your usual type of books. Or listen to a random Conversation with Richard Fidler, or watch a random TED talk. Perhaps put aside 15 minutes a day to listen/watch or read something different.
Until next week, happy leading.