Thanks firstly for the feedback and positive commentary from my first blog entry on this leadership (Williamson) journey. The dialogue which has flowed from this has been overwhelming and a sign of how far the Williamson alumni reaches, but also about the sheer impact Williamson has had on so many people – both personally and professionally. I feel honoured to be in such company.
I mentioned in my last entry that Williamson is not a course or training program, it’s an experience and journey which will change how you look at things and how you feel about yourself. I found myself a few weeks ago trying to explain it to a friend who is quite senior in the medical profession. An individual who values the formal qualifications and the amount of publications he has to his name. It is something he will find challenging to understand, but having spoken to a few of you already, I take comfort in the fact that there is no easy way to describe what Williamson is, even for those who have been through it. It is simply something special that impacts everyone in slightly different ways.
A recent part of the program is to share with our peers “who you are”. Something which sounds rather basic, however after further thought and discussion, sadly this is the question we don’t or rarely ask one another. We tend to focus on “what we do” (for a career) and don’t actually learn much truly about the individual. Does this reflect a shallow society only interested in status and position? If you regard yourself as a leader, ask yourself the question, how well do you know yourself? How well do your staff and colleagues know you? How well do you know your staff? Not in a career sense, but where have they come from, family, upbringing and, what defining moments have they had in their lives which has shaped their view on the world and their values which they live by everyday. This is something that is critical to every leader if you are going to achieve bringing people with you to achieve the impossible!
Personally this has seen me take a journey myself, rediscovering who I really am and reflecting on my life and what has sculpted my approach and values.
As a leader I have a long journey ahead, but I’m optimistic about the road that lay ahead and the challenges which await.
As our Williamson journey starts to venture down the path of how we can make a difference to some of the wicked problems which face our society, I challenge all leaders out there to ask yourself this question, how well do you know yourself and those around. If the answer is about their work experience and skills, then I believe you need to have a look in the mirror to better understand yourself.