Leadership Story | Great Leaders Seek Feedback

Earlier this week, an Academy Leadership Energize2Lead Workshop was held for the administrative team of a private high school. It was a fun, informative, and of course, energizing workshop - a favorite to facilitate.

At the end of the workshop, the head of school asked me a question: “Jim, do you have any advice for us now that we have finished this workshop?” That’s a pretty good question, and the development of the answer is worth sharing.

Let’s quickly review what the three dimensions of an Energize2Lead, or E2L Profile inform us: It lets us know what things we like to do; what we believe people ought to do, or how we wish to be approached, and perhaps most importantly, the E2L isolates what we need, deep inside to develop trust, or the things we listen for… 

Toward the end of the E2L workshop, everyone received a “team sheet,” a one-page summary of everyone’s E2L colors, a composite E2L profile for the group, and on the back key passages from each attendee’s summary profile. All on one page, so that the group may refer to the team sheet as a reminder how to better connect with each other.

Still processing the head of school’s question, my thoughts turned to a single activity which research tells us is what separates good leaders from the even better ones:

“Nothing affects the learning culture of an organization more than the skill with which its executive team receives feedback.”

That’s the takeaway quote from my 2014 review of Thanks for the Feedback, Doug Stone and Shiela Heen’s wonderful book. And it was the answer to the head of school’s question:

“Now that you have a new tool in your toolbox, use it, take advantage of it. Give each other feedback, be brave, and help each other become better leaders.”

Great Leaders Seek Feedback.