In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, leaders are recognizing the importance of fostering a culture of continuous improvement within their organizations. The learning leader, a concept that has gained prominence in recent years, plays a pivotal role in creating an environment where growth and development are not only encouraged but deeply ingrained in the organization’s DNA.


The Learning Leader Defined

The learning leader is someone who prioritizes personal growth and encourages the same in their team. They embrace change and view challenges as opportunities to learn and innovate. These individuals recognize that their role is not just to manage but to inspire, mentor, and create an atmosphere of continuous improvement.

Lead by Example

Individuals must model the leadership development behavior they want to see in their team. This means actively seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth, displaying a growth mindset, and demonstrating a commitment to learning.

Encourage a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and perseverance. By instilling this mindset in your team, you create a culture where challenges and failures are viewed as learning opportunities, not roadblocks.

Foster Open Communication

Effective communication is essential for a learning culture. Learning leaders encourage open, honest, and constructive feedback. They create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, questions, and concerns.

Invest in Learning and Development

Allocate resources and time for continuous learning and development. This includes providing training opportunities, mentorship programs, and access to educational resources. Learning leaders understand that these investments lead to a more skilled and motivated workforce.

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Clearly define goals and expectations for both individual team members and the organization’s leadership development as a whole. Having a roadmap provides direction and motivation for continuous improvement efforts.

Celebrate Success and Failure

Recognize and celebrate the achievements of your team, whether big or small. Equally important, acknowledge that failures are part of the learning process. Encourage your team to reflect on what went wrong, what they learned, and how they can do better in the future.

Empower Decision-Making

Empower your team members to make decisions and take ownership of their projects. This not only promotes a sense of responsibility but also encourages them to continuously seek ways to improve their processes and outcomes.

Embrace Technology

In today’s digital age, learning leaders leverage technology to facilitate learning and development. Learning management systems, online courses, and collaborative tools can aid in delivering continuous learning experiences.

The Impact of a Learning Culture

Creating a culture of continuous improvement under the guidance of a learning leader yields numerous benefits:

  • Adaptability: Organizations that prioritize learning can more easily adapt to changes in the market and industry, staying ahead of the curve.
  • Innovation: A culture of learning encourages employees to think creatively and generate innovative solutions to challenges.
  • Engagement and Retention: Employees in a learning culture tend to be more engaged and satisfied in their roles. This, in turn, leads to higher retention rates.
  • Improved Productivity: These individuals inspire their teams to become more efficient and productive, contributing to the overall success of the organization.
  • Talent Attraction: Organizations known for their commitment to learning and development tend to attract top talent, further enhancing their competitive edge.

Final Thoughts

The learning leader is not merely a manager but a mentor, motivator, and advocate for continuous improvement. They create an environment where personal and professional growth is celebrated, and learning is seen as a lifelong journey. This approach empowers organizations to adapt, innovate, and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Whether you’re an executive, a team lead, or an individual contributor, embracing the principles leadership development can drive both personal and organizational success. So, lead with a passion for learning, and watch as your team and organization grow and thrive in the spirit of continuous improvement.


Leadersharp was formed because we believe that the world needs better leaders, and we can help. Leadersharp is a Canadian-based leadership coaching, training and consulting firm that works with companies nationwide to advance the development of leaders, teams and their organizations. Our expert team offers a variety of programs and engagements, including executive coaching, management training, custom course development and HR and Organiational Development consulting. By integrating a hands-on approach and advanced tools including Everything DiSC, Great Feedback, and The Leadership Circle Profile, we guarantee an exceptional experience and unparalleled results. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, our team is ready to help guide you to success. Get in touch today at [email protected], or (403)-719-0800.

Did you get everything done yesterday that you wanted to? How about the day before that? Would you like more time in your day to do everything? Work, texting the kids, family, friends, groceries, Facebook, errands, fixing the lawnmower. It’s a frenetic world we stumble through every day with no time to take a breath. The ‘To Do’ list is never complete (It never will be by the way so get used to it). I don’t know about you, but this causes me anxiety. My desk is a mess, and my friends rarely see me. Evenings I’m some kind of Zombie ‘cos I’m so tired.

To create more balance we can try to manage our energy (not our time). By focusing more on what we eat, how much sleep we get, how much exercise we take (cardio, strength training and flexibility) we can become more productive, energized and focused. Loads of research supports this somewhat counter-intuitive concept. There is also an increasing focus on becoming more mindful, including paying more attention to our presence in the moment. So what’s all this got to do with listening?

Well, one critical leadership competence and respectful human kindness trait is to really listen to another person during a conversation. But as we flail though our frantic world many things can suffer from our lack of attention. Listening is a big one. The victims are our friends, family, spouses, children, neighbor’s bosses and co-workers. My guess is you know how you feel when someone is not fully listening to you. Often they will listen for a few seconds, then chime in with their experience that takes over what you were trying to say. They (often unknowingly) create a shift in the conversation to them, away from you.

This type of listening is listening for a gap so they can speak. Half listening and simply waiting to say what’s on their mind irrespective of what you are saying. Sadly, this happens all the time. In contrast, can you recall a time when you were listened to attentively and deeply. When the other person asked a question, curious to learn more about what you just told them. Connecting with your words and their meaning and how the event made you feel. This is known as active listening. I like to call it resonant listening. This is giving them your complete attention and listening so fully with your head, your heart, and your gut that other person feels you are with them in their story, and feels that you want to know more. You know it is about them in that moment and far less about you. Many top leaders and wonderful people are great at listening.

Recently FastCompany published a great Blog by Lisa Evans describing the Six Habits of Good Listeners. It was based on research work by Taylor Berens Crouch at the University of Maryland. The short article is well worth a read. Here are six habits of great listeners:

1. Practice being mindful
2. Pause before responding
3. Paraphrase what was just said
4. Have an open mind
5. Are comfortable with being uncomfortable
6. Aware of their body language


How do your resonant listening abilities measure up most of the time? Where are you placing your attention when others speak?

With some of my executive coaching clients I give them a simple tool to use if they are shifting their habits from an expert in ‘knowing and telling’ mode to more of an ‘asking and listening’ mode. This is a coach approach to leadership. The tool I share with them, which can be written in a notebook as a reminder, is W.A.I.T, which stands for ‘Why Am I Talking?’ It’s a reminder to listen more than talk, and it works really well.


It’s not just a key leadership skill to be good at resonant listening, it’s a human relationship skill. You may find that you enjoy deeper friendships, better relationships and greater success as a manager if you simply WAIT.

Fostering diversity and inclusion is not only a moral imperative but a strategic advantage for businesses. Corporate leaders who prioritize these principles create environments that empower individuals to bring their authentic selves to the table, fostering innovation, and driving growth.

In this blog, we explore how cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion aligns with effective leadership and executive coaching efforts, and discuss the importance of psychological safety in this journey.

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Brave!

Why Diversity & Inclusion Matter in Leadership

Diversity encompasses more than just visible differences; it encompasses a range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. When leaders champion the use of executive coaching to promote diversity, and inclusion, they tap into a wellspring of creativity and innovation that results from the collision of varied viewpoints. Teams with diverse backgrounds bring unique insights to problem-solving and decision-making, ultimately leading to improved outcomes and adaptability in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Inclusion, on the other hand, is the active practice of ensuring that every individual feels valued, respected, and heard. Leaders who foster an inclusive environment empower team members to express their opinions without fear of reprisal, fostering collaboration and engagement. This leads to higher levels of job satisfaction, an increased ROI on executive coaching  , reduced turnover, and increased productivity.

Developing a Culture of Diversity & Inclusion

  • Lead by Example: Leadership sets the tone for the entire organization. When leaders demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their actions, it sends a powerful message to their teams.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Make diversity and inclusion part of your organization’s values and mission. Clearly communicate these expectations to your team members and hold everyone accountable for upholding them.
  • Foster Open Communication: Encourage open dialogues about diversity and inclusion. Create safe spaces where employees can share their experiences and perspectives, fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Inclusive Hiring Practices: Implement inclusive hiring practices that emphasize skills, experiences, and potential over cultural background. This ensures a diverse pool of talent from which to choose.
  • Cultivate Mentorship & Sponsorship: Create mentorship and sponsorship programs that help underrepresented individuals advance in their careers. Providing guidance and opportunities for growth is key to creating a more inclusive workforce.
  • Educational Initiatives: Offer workshops, training, and resources that educate employees about unconscious bias, cultural competence, and the value of diversity in the workplace.

The Role of Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is the cornerstone of any successful executive coaching agenda and inclusive workplace. It’s the belief that one can voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns without fear of negative consequences. Leaders who prioritize psychological safety ensure that all team members have an equal opportunity to contribute, leading to enhanced collaboration and creativity.

  • Encourage Feedback: Create an environment where feedback is welcomed and encouraged. This empowers employees to share their insights, even when they might challenge the status quo.
  • Address Microaggressions: Microaggressions are subtle, often unintentional comments or actions that marginalize individuals. Leaders should be vigilant in addressing and rectifying such behaviors.
  • Acknowledge Mistakes: Leaders who admit their own mistakes and learn from them create an atmosphere where others feel safe to take calculated risks without fearing humiliation.
  • Active Listening: Show genuine interest in others’ perspectives through curious questioning and appreciation of their willingness to bring forward an opinion. Active listening builds trust and demonstrates that you value diverse viewpoints.
  • Supportive Response: When team members voice their concerns, respond with empathy, and show willingness to collaborate on solutions. This reinforces psychological safety and demonstrates that their contributions matter.

Leadership Development & Beyond

As a leader, fostering diversity and inclusion isn’t just a checkbox to mark—it’s a continuous journey that shapes your organization’s culture and impact on the world. By embracing diverse perspectives, including them as  executive coaching themes and areas of focus , and fostering an inclusive environment, you unlock the potential for innovation and growth while nurturing a workforce that feels valued and empowered.

Remember that fostering diversity and inclusion isn’t just a one-time initiative; it’s an ongoing commitment that requires dedication, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn and evolve. As a leadership development and training company, we’re here to support your journey toward becoming a truly inclusive leader who empowers their team and drives sustainable success.

Leadersharp was formed because we believe that the world needs better leaders, and we can help. Leadersharp is a Canadian-based leadership coaching, training and consulting firm that works with companies nationwide to advance the development of leaders, teams and their organizations. Our expert team offers a variety of programs and engagements, including executive coaching, management training, custom course development and HR and Organiational Development consulting. By integrating a hands-on approach and advanced tools including Everything DiSC, Great Feedback, and The Leadership Circle Profile, we guarantee an exceptional experience and unparalleled results. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, our team is ready to help guide you to success. Get in touch today at [email protected], or (403)-719-0800.

As a leader, one of the most important qualities you can possess is self-awareness. Self-awareness refers to the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. By developing self-awareness, you can better understand your strengths and weaknesses, improve your communication skills, and ultimately become a more effective leader.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of self-awareness when it come to being a leader, regardless of your position or your industry. Here, we will discover some core tools in leadership coaching, and provide some tips on how to develop this critical skill.

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Improve Communication

First of all, self-awareness is essential for effective communication. When you are aware of your own emotions and how they affect your behavior, you can better control your response to others. You will also be more able to communicate in a way that is clear and empathetic, which fosters further leadership coaching opportunities and supports a positive work environment. Self-aware leaders can also recognize their own biases and refrain from making snap judgments, further improving communication with their team members.

Foster Confidence

Self-awareness also makes it easier to identify strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to know what you’re good at so that you can delegate responsibilities, implement leadership coaching tools, and effectively build a team with complementary skills. Recognizing your weaknesses allows you to work on them, either by improving your skills or delegating tasks to others who are stronger in those areas; it is this balance which helps foster a more efficient and effective team.

Be a Decision-Maker

Another benefit of self-awareness is that it helps with decision-making. When you know your core values and what motivates you, you can make decisions that align with those values. You’re less likely to be swayed by others, and more likely to stay true to what you believe in. As a leader, this means your decisions will be consistent, and your team members will trust you as a result.

Tune In To Emotions

Leaders who are self-aware are also better equipped to handle change. They recognize when they are becoming overwhelmed, and can take steps to address the situation. By staying grounded and in touch with their emotions, they are able to lead with more authenticity, offer leadership coaching advice, and move their team through uncertain times more effectively.

Promote Personal Growth

Finally, self-awareness can help with personal growth and development. When you recognize your own limitations and areas for improvement, you can focus your efforts on developing those traits. This will not only benefit you as a leader, but also as a person. And as you grow and develop, your team will follow your lead and benefit from your improved capabilities.

Unleash Your Leadership Abilities

Self-awareness is a critical skill for effective leadership. By understanding and managing your own emotions, you can improve communication, identify strengths and weaknesses, make better decisions, handle change, and grow as a person and leader. Developing self-awareness and leadership skills takes time and effort, but the payoff is well worth it. By investing in yourself and your abilities, you can create a more positive workplace and lead your team to success.

Leadersharp was formed because we believe that the world needs better leaders, and we can help. Leadersharp is a Canadian-based leadership coaching, training and consulting firm that works with companies nationwide to advance the development of leaders, teams and their organizations. Our expert team offers a variety of programs and engagements, including executive coaching, management training, custom course development and HR and Organiational Development consulting. By integrating a hands-on approach and advanced tools including Everything DiSC, Great Feedback, and The Leadership Circle Profile, we guarantee an exceptional experience and unparalleled results. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, our team is ready to help guide you to success. Get in touch today at [email protected], or (403)-719-0800.

Being an inspiring leader doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process of honing in on your own unique qualities and investing the time on self-development. Sure, being a leader requires having an aptitude for people management skills – but it also involves evolving how you show up for, impact, and influence those around you.

Whether you’re looking to improve your leadership at work, or you aspire to lead people in any other domain of life, here are five key traits every aspiring inspiring must master if they want to inspire others to greatness.

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Smiling business persons stacking hands over the table


Authenticity

Effective leadership requires a multifaceted approach, and one that is at the forefront is authenticity. Inspiring leaders who embody this trait are those who are able to demonstrate their true selves with their colleagues and team members. Authenticity requires a level of openness, honesty and vulnerability, being comfortable in your own skin, and not using a false persona.

When leaders are authentic in the workplace, it sets a positive example for everyone around them. They exhibit the courage to be sincere and direct with their team members, fostering a culture of openness and trust. Authenticity is a keystone trait for any inspiring leader.


Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness in leadership goes beyond being honest and transparent; it is also about fostering a culture of trust within your team. To achieve this, effective leaders must consistently demonstrate authenticity, integrity, competence, and reliability in their words and actions and decision-making.

When team members trust their leaders, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work, leading to greater productivity and success for the organization. In essence, trustworthiness is an essential ingredient for any aspiring leader who wants to build a cohesive, high-performing team.


Interpersonal Relationships

Effective leadership requires more than just technical and strategic skills – it requires strong interpersonal skills. A leader who is able to foster a positive work environment through nurturing relationships is more likely to inspire their team to work effectively towards a common goal.

By building strong interpersonal skills, a leader is able to communicate, listen, and connect effectively with their team, building trust and increasing motivation. When team members feel valued, heard, and respected, they are more likely to go above and beyond to achieve success. Today’s successful leaders excel in building positive interpersonal relationships, fostering a people-centric culture of teamwork and collaboration.


Motivating Others

Great leadership is about being able to motivate and inspire others to achieve common goals. The power of inspiration in leadership cannot be overstated; as a leader, your ability to encourage, engage and motivate your team can set the tone for your organization’s success.

To achieve this, practicing techniques for boosting morale and enhancing motivation is essential, and being a motivating force and inspiring others requires dedication and skill. Investing in leadership development that focuses on these critical traits will not only help you become a better leader, but empower your team to achieve their full potential.


Purposeful and Visionary

If you are a leader with a clear purpose, you know what difference you want to make in the world. This becomes clear to others by your enthusiasm, passion and dedication to it – your presence. If you are visionary you have a clear and compelling picture of the future and what you can achieve ot become together, or you facilitate the creation of a collective, shared vision. You communicate this often, with inspiring language.

The primary contribution of inspiring leaders is to cultivate vision and purpose, ideally with others, and then become a standard bearer for the cause. Inspiring leaders a role models for the purpose and vision, with both character and competence –  by what they say, how they say it, what they don’t say, what they do and what they don’t do. 


The Evolution of Leadership Development

Being an inspiring leader involves mastering the traits of authenticity, trustworthiness, strong interpersonal relationships, the ability to encourage and motivate others and embody a compelling purpose and exciting vision. By focusing on these key components, you can elevate your leadership and make a lasting impact on those around you.

Developing and honing these characteristics and skills is a critical step in the evolution of becoming an effective and inspiring leader. The journey to being the best you can be is a lifelong one, and focusing on leadership development will always be a worthy and rewarding effort. 

Leadersharp was formed because we believe that the world needs better leaders, and we can help. Leadersharp is a Canadian-based leadership coaching, training and consulting firm that works with companies nationwide to advance the development of leaders, teams and their organizations. Our expert team offers a variety of programs and engagements, including executive coaching, management training, custom course development and HR and Organiational Development consulting . By integrating a hands-on approach and advanced tools including Everything DiSC, Great Feedback, and The Leadership Circle Profile, we guarantee an exceptional experience and unparalleled results. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, our team is ready to help guide you to success. Get in touch today at [email protected], or (403)-719-0800.

Leadersharp

Christopher Jones, CEO: LeaderSharp Group Developing New Managers Into Effective People Leaders

LeaderSharp Group is a full-service leadership development company based in Calgary, Alberta, with a team of Associates across Canada. Our team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced leadership coaches, trainers, course designers, facilitators, and consultants. We are strongly guided by our Vision, Mission, Purpose and Values. Our Mission is: Raising the collective consciousness, capability, and impact of today’s leaders for the possibilities of tomorrow. Our Values are: Every conversation is an opportunity; Distinctly unique; Better together; A love of learning; The art of possibility; Being of service.

Tell us about yourself?

I emigrated to Canada from England in 1981 and started working on oil rigs as a geologist. I quickly moved into leadership roles and spent over 30 years as an executive in the information service industry for oil and gas companies (software and data). My last executive role was leading the Canadian division of a global information company. We had 300 employees and $70 million in annual revenue. When that role ran its course, I decided to become an Executive Coach and start my own business. In 2014, a good colleague, Lisa Scott and I put our businesses together to co-found LeaderSharp Group. We are now very happily married as well as being business partners.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Plan carefully for the ebbs and flows of the business. Be agile enough to adjust financially. Invest more money into marketing.

What problem does your business solve?

We develop new managers into effective people leaders. We transform leaders’ effectiveness by helping them evolve their mindset to thrive in our complex and ever-changing world. We change dysfunctional groups into high-performing teams, and we create transformational blended learning leadership programs with our Docebo LMS.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Our Purpose is: The World Needs Better Leaders. This inspires us all, and we are committed to making a positive difference in the world, one leader, one team at a time.

What is your magic sauce?

Most of us have business leadership experience as well as being certified, accredited, very experienced coaches and trainers. Our brand and reputation are of high-quality services, world-class products, and a partnering approach to clients committed to their success.

Read more of our interview here.

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you. LeaderSharp has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Leadership Development (Coaching/Training) Companies in Canada in 2022 by Manage HR Magazine.

 

LeaderSharp Group is a full-service leadership development company based in Calgary, Alberta, with a team of resources across Canada. Their team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced leadership coaches, facilitators, course designers, trainers, and consultants. LeaderSharp is guided by their Core Values, Mission, Purpose and Vision, which focuses on advancing the development of generative leadership for a complex and ever-changing world. They are passionate about creating more effective corporate and government leaders that can lead teams, functions and organizations with courage and compassion through the ambiguity, uncertainty, and disruption faced by today’s organizations.

Lisa Scott, Board Chair & Chris Jones, CEO

 

In an interview with Manage HR, Chris Jones, CEO of LeaderSharp Group, shares his insights on how the company specializes in leadership and team development, inspired by their Purpose: The World Needs Better Leaders.

Leadersharp


How has LeaderSharp grown over the past eight years:

 

LeaderSharp Group was co-founded by my wife and business partner, Lisa Scott, and I in 2014. Before starting LeaderSharp, we both had successful careers in business leadership roles before becoming leadership coaches and trainers. It was just the two of us for several years, trying to survive and grow through the challenging times. Just after we started LeaderSharp there was an oil and gas industry downturn and economic decline in western Canada, which lasted four years. Though our business was slow back then, we decided to increase the investment in our marketing efforts, such as building our fabulous website. That investment really paid off by increasing the volume of qualified leads that contacted us.

Then in 2019, COVID unfortunately started. Not only was there a global financial crisis, but the way people worked changed dramatically, especially moving to virtual platforms. And the worst part for us was that most companies cut their budgets for leadership training and coaching, and work really dropped off. This again tested our resilience. Lisa and I worked hard to diversify our client base, and we began to form a team of like-minded, high-quality coaches and trainers. By mid-2020, we began to grow again, which, over the past two years, has accelerated, and we now have more than 20 fantastic Associates from Victoria to Quebec City— all very experienced and qualified individuals—and nine staff members who support the success of our clients and our Associates. We’ve enjoyed significant growth over the 18 months in particular, with bigger clients and bigger projects. Today, we are expanding from a coaching and training company into an eLearning company specializing in designing and delivering custom, high impact leadership development programs utilizing our Docebo LMS platform for online learning.

How does LeaderSharp address the current trends in the market?

 

The requirement for retention and succession planning in the middle of the Great Resignation is one of the primary pain points. There is a global shortage of trained labor and an increasing need for good leadership skills. The mass exodus of baby boomers from professional and management positions creates a growing demand for Gen X and millennials to step into leadership roles. To fill these positions, there is an overarching need to develop quality leaders in great numbers. LeaderSharp is addressing this need by coaching and developing leaders from different age groups and various levels of leadership, from the C-Suite to high potentials.

Another market trend is the increased demand for leaders with a more humanistic approach to leadership. The pandemic has shone a light on the critical need for these skills, such as relationship building and communication, transparency, empathy, compassion and emotional intelligence. Organizations have begun to transition toward people-centered leaders focusing on employee wellbeing, as well as diversity and inclusion, which I think is a really positive and overdue trend.

During the pandemic, expenditure on leadership development was significantly reduced. However, post-pandemic, there is a huge interest in leadership training and coaching, which we are happily responding to.

Read the full article on ManageHR.

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