Dictionary.com defines the word static as: 1) “Pertaining to or characterized by a fixed or stationary condition.” 2) “Showing little or no change.” 3) “Lacking movement, development, or vitality.” The word stagnant has a similar meaning: “characterized by lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement.” Do you know someone with a leadership style that could be characterized by one of these two words? Has your leadership ever been characterized as static or stagnant? If a leader does not change, develop, or progress – personally and professionally – their leadership could be described as static or stagnant.
So how do you avoid becoming stagnant? How do you become a dynamic leader instead of a static leader? Simple answer: by growing. Of course one obvious condition of growth is change – nobody can grow without changing. Being able to grow starts with being willing to change. But how do you know when or how to change? What changes need to take place in order to accomplish growth? You may never realize the ways in which you should change unless you accept and consider the feedback of others.
Whether it comes as constructive or negative criticism, helpful suggestion or unsolicited advice, the input of others regarding our ideas or performance can often hit a nerve. Many leaders broadcast their insecurities by quickly becoming defensive or protective of their ideas and decisions when they sense any sort of challenge or criticism. Nobody likes hearing that something they did or suggested isn’t perfect; but everybody should hear and consider the input of others. If never given the chance to respond to feedback, many people will never realize the areas in which they could improve.
Being open to suggestions, input, and possible ways to learn and improve is an invaluable leadership characteristic – one that pays dividends in all areas of life. Being able to humbly listen to the feedback of others and not let injured pride create excuses or arguments is not an easy skill to master, but one well worth learning.
Be open to the suggestions and even the criticism of others, value their feedback; realize that their input could serve as the needed catalyst to spur you on to make changes that will make you and your work more effective and more successful.
Never forget, being able to grow starts with being willing to change, and change happens when you are responsive to the feedback of others… and take action!