It is without doubt that we have to reframe our way of developing our leaders. Our current techniques and methods are old. Up till now the main aspect of Leadership development has been a one-dimensional view of managing and measuring performance.
We have created a vast amount of ways to do this and senior management generally accepts the outcome. Leaders are assessed, promoted and awarded along this one-dimensional line. So, why this urge to measure through models? Are we superficial beings who can be boxed into competencies and metrics? In what way can we measure our passion for our work, our authenticity or our self-awareness? You can measure dead things but the matters of the mind are immeasurable. What we measure is knowledge. We have created and turned ourselves into knowledge workers. And in a world of competencies knowledge workers fit well. Knowledge is experience, education, and conditioning. It is measurable thus limited. Knowledge is not the creative factor. It is useful at the level of technique, language, knowing how to drive a car. But on the psychological level it becomes a hindrance. Knowledge is superficial, and can this ever lead to understanding our deep consciousness? Obviously that is what we want to understand and discover.
The world around us is changing, getting more complex, seeing through the web of political and economical interests is getting more and more difficult. As we enter into times of (digital) innovation, big data, new perspectives, a more transparent world, maybe it is also time to change our view on developing our (future) leaders. It is time to develop Learning workers: True Learners!
Learning is understanding, it is constant knowing, it is not the accumulation of knowledge. When you accumulate knowledge, you only add to what you already know. You built layer upon layer of knowledge thus adding even more to your consciousness. And the more you add the more difficult it will get to un-learn.
And that is what Learning is about: unlearning in order to learn. Learning breeds creativity. Just observe the movement of your mind, your thoughts without interpreting and without having a motive. In the world of the mind these things are just tricksters trying to keep you locked in that boxed-in world of knowledge and fear. True learners are fearless. They do not fear to fall over and over again. They do not lead by fear, by creating havoc in their teams, by using their position to get things done. They succeed by sharing what they have learnt, sharing success, caring for their teams.
If you want to break the existing paradigms you will have to stop following authority blindly. Become your own authority, stop being a blind follower. We need creativity and innovation to break through the existing paradigms and built new businesses, industries and livelihoods. Redefining our perception of Leaders and of Authority will be key for future success. Starting your own introspective leadership journey is the first step.
Adnan Basaran, Founder Kamran International