Category Archive for: ‘Korn Ferry’

Learning Agility: How Flexible & Creative Is Your Brand?

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Ever wonder how some people just have greater and better capacity for life than others? I’m not talking just in business, but in what seems all aspects of their life.  Ever wonder why the entrepreuner can really wear all the hats of CEO and Chief Bathroom Cleaner, too?

In my time, I’ve learned that being flexible and open to new ideas is one of the most important attributes  in my life.  The only attribute higher for me personally is integrity.

Being an immigrant has always helped me be flexible, nimble and see the world of options before me. That’s just how we grew up.  We moved to the US with two suitcases thinking we were just here on vacation. We never ended up leaving, which was fantastic. When I stop and think about how much my parents had to tolerate change and be flexible and creative, I’m astounded.

I lost some of my willingness to try new things and flexibility to adapt when I was knee deep into the practice of law. I’m not quiet sure what it was.  Maybe it was because my days were very predictable and the law was founded in precedence.  I really didn’t think anyone cared for me to be creative, flexible and take on new learnings beyond my substantive practice.  Being a lawyer was hard enough, it seemed.

But somewhere deep inside me, I was yearning to learn new things, adapt and try on new roles and experiences in life that may have made me uncomfortable, but would have been fun and creative.  I was used to discomfort and sitting in the unknown. In a way, I thrive on novelty and unchartered territory, but I also have compassion for how others may not share my views.

Fast forward all these years to now, where I run this personal branding company.  What I ask of my clients all day long is for them to sit in discomfort, put on a creative hat and try to learn from new experiences and apply their lessons learned to new situations.  In particular, I want them to apply their lessons to new situations that may not always be predictable and comfortable.

This is the hallmark of a dynamic and creative personal brand.  People will always stand up and notice you and your brand if you are agile, fluid and creative.  People welcome your self-confidence to try on something new.

In the workplace this notion is referred to as “learning agility”.   In fact, The Korn Ferry Institute says learning agility is a leading predictor of talent and leadership success for people.  Korn Ferry also finds that learning agility is rare, with only 15% of the workforce being highly learning agile.

John Delaney, Dean of the school of business at University of Pittsburgh, said it best in a Huffington Post article about this very subject.  Professor Delaney said, “Learning agility is what happens when a lawyer is asked to maintain a robust social media presence or a financial professional is tapped to open a global office even with limited knowledge of the new country’s economy or culture, and yet they overcome their lack of experience and discomfort and find a way to simply make it work.  Those who are learning agile know what to do when they don’t know what to do. They know the questions to ask, the people to work with to find the answers they need and they are comfortable being uncomfortable.”

 So what does this mean for you? Stop and ask yourself:

– How willing and self-confident are you to take that next step at work even when you not sure what to do? How about in your personal life?

– How often do you find yourself in uncomfortable situations where you are willing to tough it out in order to find a solution?

– How creative do you allow yourself and your brand be in order to grow as a human and a leader?

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.