Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leading - How Kindergarten Sets Leaders Up To Fail

In today's turbulent times leadership is a precious commodity. I'd like to share something that Andrew Lewis - VP Human Development at Progressive Medical recently penned

With all due respect to Robert Fulghum, Kindergarten sometimes teaches us the wrong lessons.
Think back to your first year of school. Your teacher asks a question—you quickly raise your hand. You pray for the opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the subject at hand. “Call on ME!” your inner voice exclaims. If you’re selected and give the correct answer you are rewarded with the praise of the teacher.
If she calls on Jamie, the girl two rows over in the yellow sweater, you slump in your seat. Curse her and her and brightly colored sweater—it’s like a beacon calling the teacher’s gaze. You sit and hope that Jamie falters,
therefore giving you another chance to reign supreme.
Alas, Jamie has the answer. Do you celebrate her success while feeling affirmed that you too had the
knowledge? No.
School teaches us that also having the answer brings with it no reward. The glory is not in being right, but in being right first. Once this lesson is learned it permeates your being, shaping your future behaviors as a Kindergartener and quite possibly, as a leader.

“A boss knows all,
a leader asks questions.”
- Russell H. Ewing


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