Becoming a better leader
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Hendrickson Forum in Minneapolis.
The keynote speaker at the forum was Jackie Freiberg, an international best-selling author, who shared some unconventional, business-best practices of global leaders.
Even though her advice was geared towards business leaders, I believe we can apply it to our own lives and become better leaders in whatever goal we’re pursuing.
Freiberg said leaders are learners who see the opportunity to improve their own lives and the lives of others.
She said that one way we can improve our own lives is by rejecting “mindless accept syndrome.” That happens when we do things without thought, otherwise known as our routine. This can lead to missed opportunities that could have helped us rather than sticking with what we’re comfortable with.
By changing our routine, we change what we see. Using a personal example, I routinely check social media or play app games during commercials when I’m watching television with my family late at night. Instead of doing that, I could strike up a conversation and learn more about my family rather than taking them for granted.
Freiberg said another example of a routine that most people do is starting their day by checking social media. She said those who do that are beginning their day with the demands of others which can cause a frustrating start to the day.
Another part of her talk that I found fascinating was that leaders should prioritize “blank space.” This is time set aside in their schedules to just think about personal and group improvements that can be made to help the group succeed. In a business example, this time allows a CEO the opportunity to think about ways to keep moving the company forward.
She also said leaders ask for feedback. By doing this, they kill two birds with one stone: they gain insight about how they can improve themselves and they give their followers a better leader.
Lastly, she said leaders are gifted at getting ideas from others. While, the “blank space” time is great for thinking about ideas for growth, sometimes the best ideas come from employees who just need a leader who is willing to listen.