In their latest collaboration, Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner articulate what I characterize as the “secret sauce” for accelerating personal growth and professional development:
“You have to aspire to excel. You need a set of values and a vision that are greater than you are, and you need to think long term. You have to challenge yourself to go beyond your current level of performance and experimentation with new and different ways of doing things. Your growth opportunities start at the edge of your current capacity. You have to engage support to learn and grow. Learning leadership is not something you do all by yourself. You need other people to help you to become your best [and they need you to help them to become their best]. Finally, you have to practice deliberately. Bringing out the best in yourself takes practice, and practice takes time. You have to make learning a daily habit.”
What do all the companies annually ranked among the most highly admired and best to work for share in common?
A workplace culture within which people develop the mindset that Jim and Barry describe, one very similar to the growth mindset that Carol Dweck introduces in her eponymous book.