Getting Better

We spent this weekend hanging out with Carl and Sunny at their place on Lake Texhoma. Poor John had to listen to me read excerpts from Stephen Covey's Speed of Trust throughout the two hour drive.

One of the sections of the book outlines thirteen characteristics of high-trust leaders. Behavior #7 "Get Better" really leaped out at me.

It begins with a quote from Alvin Toffler, "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."

The people I've most enjoyed connecting with in my day-job have getting better as part of their core DNA. In fact, the consultants in my industry who command the most respect aren't the ones who position themselves as the gurus who know everything, but those who have a deep curiosity and the capacity to learn.

Covey reaffirms that premise by saying, "When people see...your organization as a learning, growing, renewing organization they develop confidence in your ability to succeed in a rapidly changing environment, enabling you to build high-trust relationships and move with incredible speed. The opposite of Get Better is entropy, deterioration, resting on your laurels or becoming irrelevant. With the pace of change in today's world, if you aren't making a conscious effort to Get Better, you're not just standing still; you're getting farther and farther behind."

One of the beautiful things about the internet is that clients are more educated than ever before. The challenge for consultants is democracy of information. If we can't provide value above and beyond that of knowledge-broker, then we are going to soon be obsolete. The new skillsets in my industry are about facilitation and idea-generation over knowing the latest model numbers and being able to produce drawings.

The cool thing about this environment of change is that it is forcing me to Get Better too. Thanks, Mr. Covey for helping with that!

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Maira Gall