Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Teach Leadership: Maximize the return of the experience

The article Who can teach leadership? by the HBR published last week states that we learn to lead through the experience of leading and following. It is a great read where Gianpiero Petriglieri shares his experience as a professor of a leadership course for business professionals.

In a recent study "Jennifer Petriglieri, Jack Wood and Gianpiero Petriglieri found that working with professionals who espoused different perspectives and values helped managers question, and learn more deeply from, their own experience — building the personal foundations required to lead mindfully, effectively and responsibly. Whatever qualifications and work history a teacher (or a coach) may have, then, matters less than their ability to help you maximize your return on experience. Will your course, your teachers, your classmates, help you approach, examine and draw meaningful lessons from your experience past and present? Will they take your experience seriously without taking your conclusions literally? Will they challenge you to take a second look at things you usually take for granted, or rush over? Will they provoke you to articulate, broaden or revise the views you have of yourself, leading, and the world? Will you be open and committed to that work? These are the questions you should ask anytime you're enlisting someone to help you become a better leader."

Again, these are great practices to learn when you are getting an MBA. But, I am grateful to work at a preschool based on social costructivism that supports the learning of many of these practices at an early age. How would the world look like if we lead and follow from a young age? If we reflect of our own teaching/parenting and we focus our daily interactions on giving children different perspectives instead of the correct answer? If we challenge them to take a second look at things that we take for granted or rush to teach because that is what they are supposed to be learning right now?  Let's maximize the return on the experience on a day to day basis. Let's teach leadership.

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