When a leader stops learning, they should stop leading
At my school we are launching our ‘Learn Something New’ scheme for both academic and support staff. Staff have offered to run a variety of 3-4 week courses on something they are passionate about, for other staff to sign up to. The courses include cooking tapas, researching your family tree, golf, and ballroom dancing. Staff can also receive some funding towards something new they wish to learn outside of school. Why are we doing this? Because you will be a better teacher and a more enriched adult if you can remember what it is to be a learner. Twelve months ago I decided to lead by example and took up the drums, having never played a musical instrument before. I sit my Grade 1 exam at Christmas!
As leaders of our organisations we have a duty to ensure that we both lead by example so that everyone knows they are involved in a corporate culture which values learning and improvement, as well as ensuring that we personally are continually developing our leadership skills and knowledge.
This summer I went to the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit in Chicago, where I spent two days with 4,000 other people listening to some amazing people from all sorts of walks of life. “When a leader stops learning, they should stop leading” was a quote from Bill Hybels, who was leading the conference.
So my question to you is, what do you do to keep learning?