As leaders, we all know that leadership is not simply a job title. It is not a nine-to-five job that you turn on when you walk into the office and turn off when you leave. Leadership is a way of life that requires constant learning, nurturing, and stretching. It is how you show up in the world, every day. It is a discipline that requires time and practice.
As a leader of a large, growing, multi-company organization, I am driven by the need for continual learning and this takes time and discipline. I intentionally spend time each day reading, writing, considering, and ultimately, translating the learning into action. Learning sets the tone for the organization. It enhances by ability to be agile in my responses to the ever-changing marketplace and business climate. Reading allows me the space to challenge my own assumptions and bring more knowledge to the table in discussions with my board and team. I share articles that interest me with my leadership team and am always intrigued by the responses I receive. Weekly, I share articles of interest with all 4500 staff of The Fedcap Group—and find the responses equally as inspiring.
In addition, I spend as much time as I can with leaders in diverse and disparate industries inviting them to share their perspectives with me and their approaches to the things that are essential to smooth organizational development and management: structure, innovation, corporate health, and stakeholder and staff engagement. I always walk away with new insight.
This carries over to the kind of employee I look for to bring into our organization. When interviewing potential new employees, I always ask the question “Tell me something you’ve learned recently.’ I want to understand if the person I am talking to has the intellectual curiosity required in today’s environment, required to succeed in our company.
For me, leading and learning do not feel like “work.” They are inextricably connected, and I am continuously energized and stimulated by what I learn.