Leadership and Learning Out Loud

How could I not include this article in my “MeLearningOutLoud” blog.  I love this article!

…and I’m a firm believer in what it has to say.  How we approach life and others makes a huge difference in our lives and as referenced in the American Management Association’s 2013 “Great Leaders Learn Out Loud” article, in our work place leaders as well.   Also noteworthy – the importance of quality leadership in authority positions such as community leaders, teachers and parents.

I’ve had good management and I’ve had bad management – it’s amazing to me how many people with no real world experience get into management positions where they are not capable of dealing well with people much less in the difficult and often tenuous work place environment peppered with land mines just waiting to detonate issues.  IMHO the best are those that mentor their employees, who truly, genuinely want to pass along their experiences and get in the trenches with you as you learn.  I had one boss, who always told me stories to explain new concepts – he was an absolute peach and the best boss and mentor I have ever had.  Those that have come after him, have had big shoes to fill and none have accomplished to his level yet.

On the other end of the spectrum are the bosses that can’t get out of their own box, that offer no training or little training and who approach process flaws and human error in a combative, “what’s wrong with you” approach which doesn’t lend itself to employees daring to venture out of their own boxes again to innovate – the approach is stifling to the employee and the employees watching the interaction.  Great leaders teach by example and are, I believe, quite transparent which makes them highly relatable and approachable.

I’ve not always been commended for my “learn out loud” style so this is a great personal find for me.  It’s not only OK to learn this way, it’s a quality of great leaders!  From the article – offer a compelling purpose (Steve Jobs – “make it great” or even maybe Tim Gunn from Project Runway, “make it work”) that inspires; leaders as storytellers to demonstrate their passion and leaders who help not just in learning but in unlearning – the path to growth begins with “I don’t know” or as I used to say to managers when they’d expect I was trained without having taken the time (or materials!) to train me – sure I am trained, but I don’t know what I don’t know – I believe a learning out loud environment helps avoid the pitfalls of the “I don’t know what I don’t know” situation.

Creating good employees takes time and commitment and again, IMHO, so much of that old school frame of mind seems to have been lost with the current company expectations that newbies come up to speed with little or no training in record time and I’m sure some folks fit that mold but it also leaves out a number of great employees and young future leaders when an employer doesn’t invest and “learn out loud” with their employees.  But all that is just business and for me this article is so much more (as my blog title implies).

Curiosity is always what propels me and I know I can drive people (mmm, my husband!) a little crazy peppering him with questions about himself (or anything for that matter); he says he feels interrogated and I’m ever so sorry as that’s not my intention, I’m just desperately curious about “why” for everything.  “Why” did we choose this way and not that way? “Why” did he choose these words and not those?  And I approach life with an anthropologist’s mind of sincerely wanting to understand our world and the people I know in it… and more importantly I’d love to leave this world having helped anyone learn more about themselves.  That’s my definition of a good life leader is a good listener, observer and someone curious, open and willing to help you see in yourself what they see in you and to ignite a fire in you to achieve the boundless possibilities they see in you; to be still enough and interested enough to hear you without interjection or judgement – trust and partnering are paramount to allow people to open up and share, whether it’s work or personal life and no one I know is going to open up if they feel judged or ridiculed for their input. Humble, transparent, mentoring individuals are a rare find and a gem when you get a good one!

This article is beautiful and well worth the read if you have an interest, personal or business, in desiring to mentor, coach and assist your fellow human beings in their walk in life.

Blessings cyber friend – thanks for letting me learn out loud on this one!



PS: Another great blog article by Leading In Context here as well.


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