I can't think of a household name in modern American industry who isn't on the record about how much they read. And that's just the time for reading. That doesn't include the time analyzing what's read, or conversing with fellow leaders about the meaning of what's being written. Learning: It is both intellectual and emotional weight training for the leader that is truly “out front.”
You're the leader. Tell your people what you're learning. Ask them to help you learn more. Ask them to keep an eye open for things you might be missing. You and your entire team should be learning more together, habitually!
You're the leader. Spit out a few good starter ideas, and ask the team to flesh out a response to the times. Listen to their feedback. Sometimes they will respond with ideas totally outside of your box. That's when things start getting really good for the learning organization.
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Dr. Meylan: Doug, tell me about sorting smart leaders from the pack.
Dr. Douglas Witherspoon, VP and COO, HyperJet Fusion Corp.: There's actually a really easy way to sort out smart leaders from average leaders. Smart leaders are always learning new things. That's what makes them smart. Average leaders not only don't learn new things, but they genuinely believe that they already have everything all figured out. They have no sense whatsoever that they have anything else to learn.
Study the present very carefully
to build possible versions of the future.
Generate strategic options
based on those possible futures.
Work quickly to create long lead times,
and watch events carefully to select the best options.