Strategies to develop your top talent

Archive for September, 2008

Learn by doing

I notice that we too often equate learning with schooling or good teaching.  This is unfortunate, because it limits us to thinking about learning during the few years that we spend in school when we’re mostly young.  In the business world, we sometimes think of training and development as what happens in the training classroom, and we miss all the opportunities for development that happen other places and in fact is going on all the time around us.

I’ve noticed that we often learn the most by doing, not be being taught or instructed.  I see it in the aikido dojo where I practice and in the classes for kids that I help instruct.  When I’m telling kids how to practice a technique, the results aren’t usually great, but it’s a necessary start.  Real learning happens by doing, and it’s exciting to watch those aha moments when someone sees for themself what the lesson is. 

Here’s the takeaway:  if you want to learn something, plunge in and learn by doing.  It will get you going, it will make the learning real, and it will usually feed your motivation.  I have found that learning and development arise out of practice, discipline and consistency over time.

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  • Filed under: Talent
  • The Five Fields of Leadership

    Here’s my model of Leadership Levels or what I call “Fields of Leadership.” I still need to show examples of these and work them out in more detail, but here they are in outline form. Leadership Fields are the primary domains where one exercises leadership. Leadership in one area can help one develop leadership in another domain, but it doesn’t guarantee that this will happen. Each field has its own set of skills, competencies and mindsets that go along with it. High levels of Thought Leadership don’t automatically make one gifted in Interpersonal Leadership. My thinking is still developing on this topic; I’ll post more here so stay tuned.


    Leadership can be expressed on many different levels, and each field of leadership has its requisite skills and competencies.  The five fields of leadership are:

    1. Personal Mastery:  Self-Awareness, Vision, Integrity and Self-Control

    2. Interpersonal Skill:  Empathy, Influence, Communication, and Contribution

    3. Thought Leadership: Observation, Analysis, Learning/Integration, and Sharing

    4. Group Endeavor: Organization, Meeting Discipline, Execution, Collaboration and Teambuilding

    5. Systemic Leadership: Vision for Future, Organizational Design, Culture and Values, Strategy and Transformation

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  • Filed under: Leadership, Models