The #1 Leadership Development Goal
For 2 or 3 decades in a row, you have probably heard this consistent feedback from your family, your boss, peers and report directs…the #1 leadership development goal across industries and geographies is to be a better listener.
We can clearly articulate our challenge:
“I’m a poor listener; I don’t ask enough questions; I talk over people in meetings; I interrupt and don’t really listen to what other people are saying; I like to move quickly and sometimes I don’t value other people’s input; I’m better at just telling people what to do.”
We want to be better listeners because we are told that at our current level of listening A) we lack leadership presence…we have some presence, but not the kind of leadership presence that “changes family trees” — we aspire to that kind of Covey-like presence; B) we miss out on many of the available ideas and contributing intelligences (right under our noses)— we all aspire to be more innovative and collaborative; C) we create some unintended, counterproductive relational norms with the individuals that we care about and many of those norms contradict the adaptive culture we say we want — we aspire to create a more positive ripple effect.
We can clearly articulate the solution:
“I need to stop talking (temporarily); ask more questions and just listen.”
And yet we make little progress. The feedback continues year after year because every day, we continue to crow like a rooster. We crow and we crow and we crow and we crow. As if our brain was just as uncontrollable as the Gallus Gallus Domesticus brain. The chicken/rooster brain is tiny compared to our species and they have no pre frontal cortex (so we’re not surprised that they can’t stop crowing). However, crowing (not listening) is not an irresistible impulse for our species. We can choose to focus our attention and thoughts wherever we want — the rooster can’t. We aren’t zombie roosters.
WE DON’T HAVE TO WAKE UP AND CROW EVERYDAY
Our species is aware that we have options. We are aware that still, we choose to crow. We know what to do — what’s missing? What might help us close our…