Leaders have to learn and practice new management techniques to overcome the habits that could be holding them back. In two articles, I examine the obstacles, and later, the factors that can help senior executives overcome them.
We have known for a long time that leaders need to continue to learn throughout their careers. About 50 years ago, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, argued that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. And about 40 years ago, Alvin Toffler became famous by saying that tomorrow's illiterate will not be the one who can't read; he or she will be the one who has not learned how to learn.
This has become ever truer in the VUCA world. This Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous environment, characterised by an ever increasing rate of knowledge creation and change, increasingly demanding investors, employees, publics and regulators who keep presenting leaders with new challenges that require new types of responses. In that world, “what got (leaders) here may not get them there”, as Marshall Goldsmith put it a few years ago. In fact, increasingly, what got them here may not even help them stay here.