The Pain of Leadership Development

December 16, 2015 - Mac Lake - Leadership Development

Can I give you a secret that will help you be more effective at developing your leaders? Lean into their pain.

Where are they frustrated? Anxious? Unsure? Fearful? These are the emotional pains they feel when things aren’t going right.

Pain is good. It gets our attention. It causes us to feel deep, think deep and learn deeply. So go ahead leverage their emotions for a learning opportunity.

Others do it, so why don’t we? Salesman, marketers, film writers, directors, actors, singers all tap into our emotions to get our attention and make their message stick.

Neuroscientist and educators agree the stronger the emotion the more learning sticks.

So lean into their pain. Say: You seem to be… (fill in the blank with whatever emotion they seem to be displaying).

Then simply ask: Where are you stuck? What have you tried so far?What worked? What didn’t work? Why? How are you feeling about it right now? What would a leader you admire do in this situation? What are your options? Which do you feel is best? Why? What is your next step? Why do you think that might work? What are you learning from this challenge?

Once you begin to probe like this you’ll watch the pain turn into leadership principles that will stick with them much better than any class you could ever teach.

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

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