Although organizations spend more than $24 billion annually on leadership development, many leaders who have attended leadership programs struggle to implement what they’ve learned. It’s not because the programs are bad but because leadership is best learned from experience.
Still, simply being an experienced leader doesn’t elevate a person’s skills. Like most of us, leaders often go through their experiences somewhat mindlessly, accomplishing tasks but learning little about themselves and their impact.
Our research on leadership development shows that leaders who are in learning mode develop stronger leadership skills than their peers.
Building on Susan Ashford and Scott DeRue’s mindful engagementexperiential learning cycle, we found that leaders who exhibit a growth mindset diligently work through each of the following three phases of the experiential learning cycle.
First, leaders set challenging learning goals in the form of “I need to learn how to…”