Leadership and Experiential Learning

There has been a lot of news about the unemployability of our graduates, that most people joining the corporate world lack the requisite qualities required of them in an ever complicated and demanding business scenario. That our colleges more often than not produce ‘illiterate literates’, those that can read but simply cannot apply their mind. Corporates need more Leaders not just managers. The difference being that a leader is one who does the right thing while a manager merely tries to do it right. Leadership is an art of influencing a person to do something as if that person always wanted to do it.
There are three basic things that make a human being effective. These are Knowledge, Skills and Attitude or behavior. If one lists down the qualities required of a leader we can come up with some 40 different qualities ranging from being Committed, Integrity, Risk Taking, Decision making, passion, honest, trustworthy, communication and many more. We find that knowledge and skills is one element of these while the rest 90% of Leadership forms our Attitude. Managing is a knowledge & skills issue while leadership is more about Attitude.
The question is how does one teach or learn Attitude. Our conventional education system is heavily oriented towards a ‘chalk and talk’ or a ‘mugging up’ methodology. However, to learn or develop Attitude there is a 3rd more powerful methodology called Experiential Learning which is the one that not just teaches but helps imbibe/ develop attitude. You can relate to experiential method to learning to ride a bicycle or swimming. How many of us took notes or read a book on how to cycle or swim. We learnt about it from another expert and by doing it practically and at times learning from failure. The best part is that having learnt it once you will not forget swimming or cycling even after 20 years. That is how powerful experiential learning is.
Attitude could be defined as a subconscious reaction to an external influence/ stimulus. Your subconscious mind controls your Attitude and 80% or our mind or routine actions are from the subconscious mind and only 20% is controlled by the conscious mind.
Our education system needs to proactively embrace experiential learning as a learning tool. Emphasis needs to be given on team games like Football, Hockey, Basketball and Volleyball (no not cricket – it has too much idle time) along with Outbound camps which are great to experience and imbibe many Leadership qualities that are desperately being sought by the Corporate world in their employees.
This quote sums it all
“Knowledge and skill will get you the interview …..
It’s the Attitude that will get you the job and take you higher”
About Commander Girish Konkar (retd) : Leadership & Executive Coach, Facilitator, Team Builder, Motivational / Keynote Speaker. An ex Submarine Commander, Girish is the CEO of Beyond Horizons a leading Consultancy for Leadership and Organisational Excellence. He is also a certified Fire walking and Empowerment Coach from Sundoor School of Transpersonal Education, California, USA – World’s leading school for contemporary fire walking. An avid adventurer and nature lover, he excels in taking the teams to attain seemingly impossible heights. He regularly conducts the widely acclaimed Leadership and Motivational workshop “Winner For Life”. His credo “Succes is a Choice….Make it Your Habit”. Email: corporate@beyondhorizons.in

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