What’s the best way to learn to lead something? You might think, as I did, that it has something to do with organized courses, goals, and lists of lists, but that is, of course, not true.
Instead, we have hope that the world is not becoming increasingly robotized. It turns out that drones (whether of mechanical or humanoid variety) are NOT taking over, and never will. God has hardwired us not for better checklists but for play. Experimentation aligns better with human design than does following established norms.
Better leadership is not the result of better goals and more efficient processes, nor does it stem from head-down compliance. Leadership comes from, well, farting around.
Yes, it’s true. I am so happy right this minute.
The most productive route to better leadership is by playing and experimenting like you did with childhood friends. Paint, chalk, water hoses, magnifying glasses, stolen eggs and hot sidewalks make better leaders than a book by the Lord of Toyota.
Play your way into better leadership. Ha! Who knew? Although I am not sure beer pong helps, according to this study from Harvard Business Review, it would help more than becoming an old snit who never has any fun.
Am I to infer, then, that the finest leadership school would send people outside, lock the door behind them, and command the neophytes to: “Stay outside and play until lunchtime”? (Meanwhile, this Socrates of young leaders would, as my sister-in-law reports, retreat to the quiet of her air conditioned kingdom and drink a Tab.)
Maybe this leadership stuff is easier than we think. Maybe we just need to go out and try some stuff? Maybe the best leadership development comes after we receive permission to experiment and clean up when something breaks.
Band-Aids are cheap. Y’all go play.