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Article On Leadership
It is amazing how much you can learn by doing, and how much more you can learn by explaining. When I used to work as a
tutor, I would always have to explain writing and comprehension skills to my students. I would have to tell them how to look at a book, read a chapter, and get all of the important information out of that chapter. Many of them had serious learning disabilities, so it could be a serious challenge to get them to understand and remember all of the relevant facts. Working that job made me a better reader, as I learned to use the tricks that I told the students in my own personal reading.
The article on leadership that I wrote had a similar effect on my leadership skills. You see, at work we had sort of a slacker culture. I won't say that we didn't get the job done, but we certainly did not go above and beyond and give it 110%. We tried leadership seminars, leadership courses – if it involves leadership, we tried it. We tried NLP, Life Coaching – all of that trendy stuff. Finally, the boss had the revelation that we would only learn by explaining it to others. He gave each of us the assignment to write an article on leadership, and then we shared them in a group.
Well, I can tell you, none of us were thrilled by this article on leadership business. We much preferred the seminars, where we would be paid to listen to some self-appointed guru of life skills psych us up with commonsense notions and feel-good slogans and provide us with a free lunch. In the course of these seminars, we had already read many articles on leadership. We all figured that it would be easy to write our own article on leadership, using the same tired slogans that we had heard week after week.
When we finally did get down to sharing the articles on leadership with each other, it became clear that something interesting had happened. Instead of faking our way through it, we all actually took the time to think about leadership, and came up with some useful observations. By having to explain what leadership meant to us, we had to get in touch with our own feelings about it. We were forced, in writing an article on leadership, to actually become better leaders. It worked much better than anyone – even the boss – expected.
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