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Leadership is a Contact Sport

| October 14, 2014

by Jim Bruce

Today’s Tuesday Reading is actually a Marshall Goldsmith video “Leadership is a Contact Sport”.  

In this video Goldsmith teaches a very straightforward model for development as a leader or as a team member.  It has eight steps:

1.  Ask.  Create a habit of asking people important questions – how could I have done a better job on my last project?  How could I lead my team better?  How could I have better supported you?  You get the idea.

2.  Listen.  Having asked a question, listen attentively.  Devote all of your attention to hearing the response.  Don’t interrupt.  You are receiving an important gift.

3.  Think.  Carefully reflect on the input.  What does it mean?  Ask clarifying questions.

4.  Thank.  You’ve gotten a valuable gift, express your thanks.

5.  Respond.  What will you do with your gift?  I’d argue that even the most poorly wrapped or unhelpful gift has value.

6.  Involve.  Involve those around you, and in particular those who gave you the gift, in supporting you going forward.

7.  Change.  You’ve learned something; now you have to do something with it.  If we don’t do something with what we learn we really have not gotten better for the learning.

8.  Follow-up.  By continuing to ask questions, by learning, and thereby to keep growing as a leader.

Elsewhere, Goldsmith sums the results of this model up with the succinct statement:  “If the organization can teach the leader to reach out to co-workers, to listen and learn, and to focus on continuous development, both the leader and the organization will benefit.”  That’s what this model is all about. 

I hope that you will renew your commitment to really lead this week. 

>  .  .     jim