So, You’ve Been Promoted! What Does That Mean?!
Being a new leader is like being a new parent. A new leader who is genuinely interested in learning her craft is like a
new parent reading all of the parenting manuals. Those vicarious experiences are invaluable. It’s advantageous for leaders to read and learn from the leadership gurus of today, yesterday, and times of old. However, we must recognize that these leaders, whether expounding from their own experiences or the cumulative experiences of leaders who may have participated in studies or surveys, are experiencing the world in a different way than we are. Although they help us to put our experiences into perspective, our leadership experience is unique.
You’ve heard it before. Leaders are readers. It’s important to have the knowledge. What’s more important is what you think about the information presented, how it sparks your leadership creativity, and how it spurs you to create your own leadership knowledge.
Here Ye, Here Ye
Here’s more good news. Just like a parent, once you have absorbed the knowledge you’ve gained vicariously, you can test it out in real life situations. Your real life leadership experiences, whether they are ideal or not, puts you in the know. As any experienced parent will tell you, knowing trumps what you may have read in a book, or learned in a presentation, every time. Once you have settled into that knowing, you become more comfortable manipulating your knowledge and applying it to situations that may be new to you. As an experienced leader, you begin to understand what you know and what you don’t know and to act and think accordingly. And the really good news is…..when you know, you are free and comfortable with allowing other leaders on your team to join you in leading.
What do you think? How have you applied leadership knowledge learned from a presentation or a book? Can you describe a time that application worked differently than what had been described in a book or presentation? What advice would you give to new leaders about the difference in theory and applied knowledge?
As a new or experienced leader, what are you learning about the difference in what you read and what really works?
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