It may seem like an obvious question because we are ALWAYS learning. However upon closer inspection are you learning intentionally?

This question became super relevant as I was doing some work on my business, identifying the ideal clients I want to work with. I feel grateful in that I already HAVE ideal clients; yet in the interests of growth and scaling, I wanted to be sure I was clear about who I wanted to serve and was qualified to best serve.

I am attracted to working with clients who are highly intelligent, focused, successful and articulate. In addition, my clients express a strong desire to take their leadership and life to the next level. In so doing, they truly transform “who” they are being so the “what” they can do allows for breakthrough results; for themselves and often for others.

Upon deeper reflection, there is something they absolutely must possess in order for us to work well together;
That is being a LEARNER.

By this I mean the willingness to admit that they don’t know what they don’t know.

They will approach the learning process with an attitude of curiosity, appreciating each new discovery with gusto. They don’t resist it; they EMBRACE it. I call it leadership resilience.

Leadership resilience is crucial for leaders.

When a leader can’t be honest about what he doesn’t know, it shuts down the ability for others to learn and innovate within the organization. In order to move from where we are now to a future desired result, we must let go of our need to know. When a leader can embrace curiosity, wonder and being comfortable with uncertainty, it makes it acceptable for others to do so.

Learning leaders are humble; this humility allows for discovery, innovation and co-creativity with others.
Do you have any enemies of learning lurking in your leadership? See if any of these feel familiar:

• I know what I need to know
• I don’t want to learn this
• I don’t need to know this
• I can’t learn this
• I can’t act unless I am 100% certain
• Be reasonable. Do it my way!

If these provoked something in you, chances are your organization is feeling the effects as well.

We can and do learn by ourselves. Yet the speed of learning in an organization impacts innovation, competitive advantage, market share leading to profitability.
Effective coaching can accelerate the speed of learning for leaders and organizations. How quickly are you becoming a learning leader?

Author's Bio: 

Susan Freeman is an executive coach who is best known for her unique approach to leadership transformation–combining Western strategic discipline with Eastern integrative wisdom techniques. Her clients get to the root of what is holding them back, allowing access to their Natural Leader. They evolve their leadership in an integrated, balanced and sustainable way. When they do, they experience passion, clarity and exceptional results.

She is the author of, “Step Up Now: 21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others,” as well as a public speaker on the inner dimensions of leadership. Her passion is working with motivated, high-achieving leaders and influencers.

Susan received her M.B.A. in Marketing from Columbia University and her B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College. Susan is an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation, as well as with Newfield Network where she received her coaching training. She is also a certified business facilitator from the MSP Institute. Susan brings to her coaching more than 25 years of corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit business management and leadership experience.

She volunteers to mentor young women leaders locally and globally. In Africa, she works closely with The Akilah Institute to help empower young women with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become leaders. Her book connects her to the school, where it is used in curriculum and where she donates all profits from its sales. In Tampa she has mentored young women through the Emerge Tampa program of the Greater Tampa Chamber and Frameworks Tampa Bay.

Susan is a native of Kansas City and resides in Tampa, FL. In Tampa she is an active member of The Athena Society and a Leadership Tampa Alumna. She has founded or served on several educational boards at the secondary and university levels.

Susan is happily married and has three grown sons. Her hobbies include ballroom dancing, travel and yoga. Rarely a day goes by when she doesn’t eat a piece of dark chocolate.