Maybe you’ve heard the analogy about how difficult it is to teach an “old dog” new tricks. An “old dog” is someone who is set in their ways, who’s “been there and done that” and who is not particularly impressed by our leadership credentials. We run into “old dogs” all the time when we inherit teams, and they can make our jobs a chore. I once had a children’s joke book that had stellar advice about how to deal with “old dogs.” The joke went like this:
Great advice! As leaders, we need to stay at least one step ahead of those on our teams. You do this through continuous improvement – taking courses, being a bookworm or a tapeworm (someone who listens to tapes), reading trade publications, attending conferences…. There are a gazillion options available to us. The hard part isn’t finding a way to learn more; it’s making it into a habit!
Think about this:
If you haven’t learned anything new lately, have you earned the credibility to lead a group of people who are experts in what they do on a daily basis? You can’t lead any farther than you yourself have gone.