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Do you thrive on continuous learning? Do you feel inspired to lead others to learn? Then you could be considered a learning leader!

Leaders often have to wear many hats in an organization. A learning leader helps with the growth and development of their team members and themselves to ensure their team can adapt to change and grow in their career.

What is a learning leader?

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A learning leader:

  • Values and promotes a learning culture

  • Encourages others to acquire new knowledge and skills

  • Takes an active role in promoting and facilitating the learning process

  • Changes their leadership tactics according to their environment

Learning leaders exhibit various characteristics. Understanding and applying these skills to your personal and professional life will ensure you become a leader others look up to.

1. Deal with ambiguity

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As a leader, you will often have to deal with a lot of ambiguity. Ambiguity is when things are uncertain or confusing and can be interpreted in multiple ways.

You may have team members who need extra support, or you may come across a situation you need help with. As a learning leader, your role is to understand the problem and find solutions.

This could include upskilling yourself and your team with skills such as project management, leadership, communication, etc. Developing a skill will help ensure your team learns and grows when there is a need for more skills.

Interested in developing your skills? Search Rumie Bytes, edX, or YouTube to get started.

2. Foster engagement for learning

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Fostering engagement within your team involves:

  • Having an open communication channel for feedback

  • Understanding how to motivate others

  • Setting clear goals and expectations

  • Empowering decision-making within your team

Encourage members to share something they recently learned with everyone on the team. This helps with knowledge sharing and encourages everyone to get motivated to learn and lead by example.

Feedback allows you to learn, improve, and grow, while decision-making enables the team to be creative and open-minded, and encourages curiosity.

A balance between growth, improvement, and creativity will ensure your team members are engaged and satisfied with their work.

3. Facilitate learning opportunities

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Understanding that learning and growth are central to all you do as a leader is essential to helping you and your team grow.

Develop learning habits that help you grow, such as setting a schedule to learn, setting goals to learnnew skills, learning from your mistakes, and learning from others.

Your team will also grow and learn with you as you grow and learn. Continuous learning will allow you to share your knowledge, foster collaborative learning, develop research skills, and increase your desire and capacity to learn.

Participate in and encourage your team to take training courses or programs, attend workshops or seminars, and take on mentoring or coaching opportunities.


What are some other ways to encourage learning? Select all that apply:

4. Use systems thinking

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Systems thinking is an approach that looks at the whole picture instead of the smaller components, which can be misinterpreted when individualized.

Learning leaders are encouraged to look at the bigger picture to understand and identify the root causes of problems.

This allows learning leaders to "forecast behaviors, predict problems and solve issues." Thus, leaders are able to better understand situations and quickly find solutions.

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Take, for example, LEGO blocks. They don't make sense individually but begin to make sense as they are put together.

This concept can also be applied to making changes within your team or organization. To change something, you have to understand the components that go into it.

Time for an activity!

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You're a team leader in an organization that values continuous learning. Your team consists of individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds.

Lately, you've noticed a decrease in team collaboration and a reluctance among some team members to participate in learning opportunities. This is impacting overall team performance.

How can you assist your team members out of this slump?

A. Create a learning resource hub where team members can share resources, books, articles, online courses, conferences, webinars, etc.

B. Sign up team members for learning opportunities such as workshops, webinars, or conferences.

C. Integrate learning into their performance reviews through goal-setting opportunities.

D. Recognize and reward team members when they set and reach learning goals through praise, recognition, and monetary rewards if applicable.


Read the above options and select all that apply:

Take Action

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As a learning leader, you should lead by example by "actively seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth, displaying a growth mindset, and demonstrating a commitment to learning."


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