Learning new skills and building your knowledge are key parts of being a leader. Reading books, listening to podcasts, and connecting with other experts in your industry are a few ways the leaders build their knowledge.
Learning on a regular basis develops your ability to think critically. You can also build your interpersonal skills and create sources of knowledge from which creative cross-connections occur.
However, leadership isn’t just about gathering knowledge. You also have to examine what you know and discard concepts that are irrelevant in today’s world.
Every business and workplace is different and so are your products and customers. You need to keep evaluating what you know to become a better leader.
Let’s look at some of the key lessons leaders commonly need to unlearn. Reshaping your knowledge is a challenging activity that will only help you grow yourself and your business.
Know all the answers
As leaders, we spend a lot of time trying to find the right answer to difficult questions.
But a leader is better off asking questions instead of believing they know all the answers. Learn to rely on your team and listen to them for feedback and insights.
And why not reach out to your customers with a survey or feedback form and ask them what they want instead of guessing.
When you stop trying to have all the answers, you start asking the right questions. As a result, you’ll start to see real answers instead of rehashing old biases. And with new information, you can make the right changes in your work.
Always be in charge
One of the most difficult lessons an entrepreneur or business leader has to learn is letting go of making all the decisions.
Very often, a leader starts a work process in a company or builds a business from scratch. As a result, they get used to being deeply involved in every step of every process. And even building things themselves.
Trying to make every single decision yourself leads to micro-management of your team. And this creates less flexibility which makes for unhappy employees.
An important practice you can let go of is having to be in charge of everything. Learn to delegate work to others and let them find the best way to achieve specific goals. You’ll see creativity and innovation at work as well as a more positive work environment.
Keep your success secrets close
In today’s world where communication takes place in split seconds through phones and online media, keeping what you know under lock and key won’t give you an edge.
Before, it might have served leaders to hide their techniques for success from others. But today, people appreciate businesses and leaders who share their knowledge rather than hold them.
In fact, the more you give to others, the more you get in return. You’re likely to make better progress than you otherwise would if you kept your knowledge to yourself.
So an important step that you can take is to share your knowledge online. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Show behind the scenes working of your business and team. Doing this creates a human connection between your business and others. It’s also a way to build appreciation for your workforce
- Create blog posts on a regular basis with thought leadership content that helps your peers develop their own abilities
- Be active on social media and share quick tips and insights that trigger discussions
- Mentor others
When you share what you know and give to the world, you develop a positive reputation. And with trust and engagement, you’ll find that more people reach out to you and work with your business.
While learning new things is a critical activity for leaders, unlearning outdated information is just as important.
I shared a few lessons that most leaders hold on to – to their own detriment. Consider if you need to unlearn these lessons in your own life.
Make a change and develop new knowledge that fits the context you’re in. And will create more success and also bring better outcomes for the people around you.