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!
- Stay Curious. Lead with questions to understand, first. What do YOU think? What are our options?
- Look for connection and patterns. Especially ones you may not have seen before.
- Be just a little impatient. Ask, What’s next? And why that? When are we going to get there?
- Challenge the status quo. Ask — and encourage others to ask — Why and/or Why not?
- Experiment. If someone says, “we already tried that,” challenge them to find another approach that takes advantage of the learning from the last time.
- 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.