I know you’ll gag and stop reading now if I quote that weary adage about insanity being doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, so I won’t. I will say, however, that better thinking is the key to better leading. If that means making the effort to stop thinking the same old thing and start thinking differently, well, ’nuff said.
We all lead out of what we know, and, tritely speaking again, we don’t know what we don’t know. So, how can we lead effectively, currently, if we’re operating out of the same old skill set, not even knowing the questions we ought to be asking about what we don’t know? We get some outside help. We read some books. We go to a conference. We watch some DVD’s and figure out that we just don’t know it all, after all.
How do I know this?
I know this because I’ve lived it. Another cliche’ here: A grave is just a rut with the ends knocked out. Good one. Maybe I’ll make up a cliche’ of my own…hhhmmmmm…let’s see… A rut is like, well, it’s like a hole in the ground that dead people lie in when they don’t have anything else better to do. No, that was bad. That was kind of like the first rut cliche. Guess I’m in one already. See how easy it is to fall into them? Say, could you give me a hand up?
So, if our leading isn’t going well, it certainly means we’re not thinking well. Better leading means better thinking and better thinking means opening our minds to something beyond ourselves, like other people who know more than we do about leading people. Let’s start there. Who’s doing what you want to do? Who’s leading like you want to lead? Who’s leading more people than you lead? What would it mean to lead differently than you’re leading now? Yes, yes… questions are good, especially if we’re open to the answers we’re not ready to hear.
Our failures can become our teachers, if we would only listen to them.