Act Like a Kid, Lead Better

I recently read a story about the dramatic turnaround at discount retailer Target. The CEO shared one of his success tips: seek out and surround yourself with new ideas and people who challenge you to reflect and question everything — then act quickly.
That’s like the strategy of a three-year-old. Look at everything through fresh eyes. Fail, Learn, Try again.
If you want to change your business outcomes, create a questioning ecosystem built around diverse teams of people who bring a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Then encourage them to behave like three-year-olds — and you, too!

  1. Stay Curious. Lead with questions to understand, first. What do YOU think? What are our options?
  1. Look for connection and patterns. Especially ones you may not have seen before.
  1. Be just a little impatient. Ask, What’s next? And why that? When are we going to get there?
  1. Challenge the status quo. Ask — and encourage others to ask — Why and/or Why not?
  1. Experiment. If someone says, “we already tried that,” challenge them to find another approach that takes advantage of the learning from the last time.
  1. Start over. When a pile of blocks falls down, kids don’t hold a meeting to assign blame. They just start again. Honor questions like, What if we were building from scratch today? How would we do this? What’s a different way?

Remember, Leadership is not about a title; anyone can be a Leader who constantly learns and grows and creates an environment for others to do the same.

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