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Creating Successful Leaders

Today’s global, interconnected market demands that leaders be agile as they navigate through the diverse range of disciplines, cultures and skill sets that compose it. But what do we mean when we say, “agile?”

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, learning agile leaders “show the willingness and ability to learn throughout their careers, if not their entire lives.” They also assert that leaders who “refuse to let go of entrenched patterns or who do not recognize the nuances in different situations tend to derail.”

Learning agility is as much a mindset as it is a practice. For instance, if you’re in a rut with your career, it’s possible you aren’t taking advantage of learning opportunities. There are many possible reasons for this: perhaps you’re afraid of failure, or worried about getting outside your area of comfort and expertise. However, without allowing yourself to encounter new experiences, you’ll have no shot at developing the necessary life skills to navigate through an increasingly interdisciplinary economy. You can’t expect different results from doing the same thing over and over again; Albert Einstein defined insanity as such.

So, to be agile in practice, you must first retrain your brain to be open to newness. It may not be comfortable at first, but hopefully you’ll find that new experiences are rarely as duanting as we build them up in our minds.

I’ll be focusing on learning agility and how it plays out when applied this month, so stay tuned!

Mitchinson, Adam and Robert Morris, Ph.d. “Learning About Learning Agility.” Teachers College, Colombia University, April 2012.


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