Seek counsel intentionally…

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Elon Musk

What is it that you do so well that you know that you don’t need to improve? How do you know this? Is it based on what people tell you or have you arrived at this answer by yourself? Be careful of any thinking that deludes you into believing that you have achieved a level of mastery that negates the need for further growth. That is the beginning of the end.

One of my favorite stories on this, and I don’t remember where I heard about it, was an observation that someone made about Ken Blanchard the leadership author and guru. Ken was attending a talk on leadership and was observed to be sitting in the front row taking notes feverishly, as though everything he was hearing was for the first time. Now here is a person that has achieved “Master Level” proficiency in a topic, yet he is seeking growth and wisdom as though he were just beginning. There is such power in this example for me.

This example addresses the second part of today’s quote, but what about the first portion? Who are the people that you listen to and seek feedback from? Do you you have a list of folks from whom you regularly seek out perspective, wisdom and insight? If you don’t then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you do these three things RIGHT NOW.

First, pull out a pad of paper and create a list of people whom you respect and would welcome their insight and feedback about your performance and behavior. Write as many names as you can think of then circle the top five that you can engage with this week for step two.

Second, reach out to and have a conversation with those selected individuals and do two things. 1) Let them know that you are working to improve your skills and talents in some area and would welcome their perspective and insight. 2) Give them permission to provide any feedback that they might have, even if they think you might not want to hear it.

Third, when you receive feedback do the following with great focus. Sit back and LISTEN. Receive the gift you are being given without defense or the need to respond. Ask questions to help yourself understand their perspective. Do this without judging or responding immediately. Then do this most important thing. THANK THEM for this greatest of gifts, feedback and perspective and invite them to do it again.

When do you do these things consistently and well you will create a feedback loop that will sustain and grow your leadership for years to come…

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