Improve Your Leadership Effectiveness – Create A DIY MBA!


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How much time out do you consciously take to learn, develop and improve yourself as a leader? I’ve just been to an event where the speaker was the forthright and forward thinking leader of the business Webmart, Simon Biltcliffe. He calls himself a Marxist Capitalist and his whole approach is without a doubt Dramatically and Demonstrably Different – the great thing is that it delivers impressive results (I’ll blog about the Webmart Way at a later date!)

One of the impressive things that particularly struck me about Simon was his approach to pushing continuous learning and development and that starts with himself! Simon is undertaking what he calls a DIY MBA!

He has committed to one half day a week to learning and exploring. That means one half day consciously taking time out and reading books and magazines, browsing websites, listening to podcasts (and yes, I will be sending him my weekly 3D Thoughts podcast!), proactively going out to meet other people and visiting and learning from other businesses.

This really demonstrates 2 of the 7 characteristics we see in 3D Leaders (his presentation actually showed that he demonstrates all 7!) which are:

Go For Walks….

This is all about thinking and working ‘strategically’ and seeing the bigger picture – that means working ‘ON’ the business, not ‘IN’ it! Crucially it’s about consciously creating that time to work ‘ON’ the business! Find out more here.

Fish In Different Ponds…

3D Leaders don’t just ‘Think Out Of The Box’, they ‘Get Out Of The Box’! They ‘get out there’ and enagaging with others outside the ‘comfort zone’ of their own business. From simply creating time to work with other departments and locations across the business, to ’fishing in different ponds’ which means other companies, other industries, even other countries and cultures. As well as doing it themselves, they encourage others to do so too! Again, there’s a bit more on this here.

So, what does this mean for you? Well, there is an abundance of resources out there (much of it ‘free’), your challenge is to create some time to access and absorb it to increase your learning and knowledge and develop your own DIY MBA!.

Here are 3 ‘resources’ that work for me…

So, 3 questions for you…….

  1. TED - a fantastic array of stimulating and thought provoking presentations
  2. Stanford University’s e-corner - entrepreneurial thought leadership from people who have done it!
  3. Seth’s Blog - brilliant insights, ideas and questions from Seth Godin that always get you thinking!

What works for you – because this is about learning, and ‘fishing in different ponds’, please do share with us where you fish and we can all dip in!

Go on, you know it makes sense – get your diary out, create an appointment with yourself and start on your own DIY MBA!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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