Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet
In their pursuit for improved performance, leaders nurture a team culture that is comfortable challenging the status quo, and sharing the commitment and accountability for embracing change. 

Recognizing their responsibility to develop those they lead, these leaders counsel that natural talents can only take a person so far. They promote change initiatives as learning experiences that expand knowledge, strengthen skills and open opportunities to make a difference. From their own experience, they appreciate that beneficial learning is best accomplished by doing, by practicing. 

Why is “doing” so effective? Because this experiential learning process relies on the basic human memory process in which we learn how to do things. Our minds are programmed to integrate new experiences, or more accurately the memory of those experiences, into our existing memory structure. This integration process is triggered by new data generated from these experiences. 

When new data is simply described to us, we don’t know where in memory to put it because we don’t really understand how the data may be used. But when we experience the data ourselves, we simultaneously experience other related sights, sensations, feelings, remembrances of goals achieved, goals we still aspire to achieve, etc. In other words, all of this related data provides enough context for our memory to characterize what we have learned well enough that it finds a place in our memory and begins the integration process. 

Leaders who appreciate the power of “doing,” carve out time for their teams to pursue innovation and improvement, while honing skills like strategic thinking, collaboration, experimentation and resolving differences. And they accomplish this with messaging that aligns with their company’s culture and goals. 

The results are:

productive change that improves results, making a difference for customers,
–teammates and the business;team members who are more self-reliant because their contributions are recognized and rewarded; and,
–an evolving culture that creates strategic value by appreciating and investing in its people.

How often are you empowering your team to learn and contributeby making something better?