What has Colin the Caterpillar got to do with leadership development? (Learn2Develop - Part 2)

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Whilst it might be a catchy title, in all honesty, the answer is not a lot (or is it).

Al and I have had the pleasure of spending the last six months with a group of directors from Tony Gee, taking them through our innovative leadership development programme (Learn 2 Develop – Part 1 by Al Simmonite). Travelling between Lancashire and Surrey at times proved challenging but Colin (especially the sour ones) kept us going.

Leadership, for me, comes down to a couple of key attributes; being authentic, being humble, and being curious. You need to be yourself to ensure consistency and congruence with those you work with, being always authentic and knowing that when it slips, it is obvious to many you work with. What is the shadow that you cast as a leader is a phrase that we’ve used a lot and we can all probably reference someone who’s shadow wasn’t inspiring. I know that during my corporate career, I constantly fought between how I thought I should act and how I wanted to be.

Leadership, for me, comes down to a couple of key attributes; being authentic, being humble and being curious.

Humility; being humble, learning from others, and the mistakes that you may have made yourself can sometimes be tough. Learning for me is something that I actively do every day. Al and I both learnt so much; how a book which we have both loved didn’t land with the delegate group at all and how one model can generate a conversation lasting 1.5 hours which had never happened before.

Curiosity to understand the views of others, to learn about things you thought you understood, and continue to ask questions until you are sure you get it. Mark Davies from 7Futures joined us during the last workshop and the session continues to spark my curiosity and challenge my thinking. Sometimes curiosity can come across as challenging or questioning from a position of aggression or negativity but I am a big believer of asking until you are really clear.

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So what does all this have to do with Colin? As I said, very little but we were authentic, showing consistency in our choices. Curious to try different varieties (the low-sugar ones are awful) and humble enough to admit that a sugar hit was needed to get through those long journeys. Thank you Colin!

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