Energy and Active Learning

“If you are going to make a mistake son, make it at full pace”, was an adage my old football coach used to state often. No gain was ever likely from holding back, or doing something halfheartedly. Full Pace or nothing!!

A recent article by Dan Rockwell, “Great Leaders make others Great” , struck a chord. The key points of the article from my viewpoint.
  • Provide opportunities for failure. The reflection and self-learning from failure makes us better leaders.
  • Accept average performance as long as their is scope to learn and grow
  • Throw wood on the fire. Ignite their passion
  • Be a safety net. Allow young leaders the chance to recover, renew and refocus.
Dan makes a further six points, but these four were the ones that caused greatest reflection for me. I have worked with many leadership teams, but the two that stand out for me is my current team, and a team from 1996. While not my first leadership team, it was within my first years leading a team of leaders. On both occasion, it is the attributes of energy and active learning that makes these teams so invigorating.  I love the energy equivalent in leaders, but within the capacity to learn, reflect and self-correct, energy becomes high maintenance. Ideally, you do need a mix of experience as well as active learners, but if given a choice I know which way I would go.

And just like in a football team. You know these leaders will make mistakes, but they will be made at full pace, for the right reasons and the person will reflect and grow on these mistakes. I tell my team, you can do just about anything , as long as you are prepared to change again if need. The other exciting thing is that mistakes are recognised early, and rectified just as quick….and the exciting part for me, sometimes without my knowing. We are not talking about absolute mavericks here, we are talking about leaders that understand the strategy and want to achieve the best possible result, in line with strong leadership behaviours.

Energy, capacity to grow, and the ability to learn and self-correct is integral within each leader. How does your leadership team shape up? 


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