Some people start with leadership theory. I start where the learners are.
As a trainer or teacher, how do you engage people in a conversation about leadership? Leadership is complex and context dependent. Some people begin with leadership theory. I work with the people in the room, and the experience that they bring. This blog is about the best participative leadership exercise I ever invented. You can download the complete exercise with facilitator instructions by going to Kellow Learning Resources.
‘To see ourselves as others see us.’ Robert Burns
Leaders need to be self aware
If you don’t know who you are, why would anyone follow you? Self-awareness helps to build trust and confidence. Self-awareness can’t be taught. We have to learn it as we go through life. It can be an awful pain, learning who we are, and how we impact on other people. But knowing who are, and how other people see us, we can choose to do more of the things that help us to win friends and influence, and less of the things that confuse or irritate people.
Can self-awareness be taught?
Or can we teach self-awareness? Some years ago I developed a set of leadership competencies based on what I have learned from working with leaders in the context of sustainability. Using the competencies as framework for self-assessment, I created a participative group leadership exercise that can be run with most groups of learners, anywhere. It takes just over an hour.
The Leadership Odyssey
I call the exercise ‘The Leadership Odyssey’, because participants go on a short learning journey, with other people, and together they explore their leadership skills and attitudes. In a short space of time people can begin to discover what they do well as leaders, and what they want to develop. The ‘Odyssey’ works well at the beginning of a leadership programme as an ice-breaker, and a thought-starter. It can be run as a stand-alone exercise. The Odyssey can also help people to get ideas for creating their personal development plan. The Odyssey is probably the best participative exercise I ever invented.
Download ‘The Odyssey’
You can download ‘The Odyssey’ complete with instructions by going to Kellow Learning Resources. I hope you enjoy using The Odyssey, and please let me know you get on.