Q: If you were to give a consultant one piece of advice on becoming a better leader, what would it be?
A: It's really two words: deliberate practice. The whole notion of talent has been highly overrated and will only get you so far. The rest is about hard work and deliberate practice.
Carve out at least two hours every day to use as a learning experience of deliberate practice. That means developing a plan for improvement. Set a goal and engage in designed learning activities to help you achieve that goal. Make sure you pay as much attention to technique as outcome. Get some feedback on how well you’re doing and then, based on that, reset your goals.
Adapted from a more extensive interview with Jim Kouzes, featured at Management Consulting News.
Jim Kouzes is the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University (SCU). Barry Posner is the Accolti Professor of Leadership at SCU's Leavey School of Business, where he served as Dean for 12 years. Together they are authors of The Leadership Challenge and over a thirty other books and workbooks on leadership and leadership development, including Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, which was just released this month.