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Where is Your Leadership Dojo?

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Where do you practice your leadership?

Literally, where do you practice your leadership? Do you have a time and place set aside to practice things like effective conversations and moods of possibility? If you are working on making your body strong by lifting weights, I bet you could show me the gym where you work out. If you are intent on mastering martial arts, I am sure you could show me where your dojo is. The dojo is a term from martial arts that means “a place of learning.” So, where is the gym for your mind and body to practice leadership?

For most, the answer is, we do not have one. Most of us just ‘do’ our leadership on a day-to-day basis. Occasionally we will go to a class on leadership or a “charm school” where some outside person is brought into teach us the latest tip or technique about getting along with one another. Is that really how we should look at arguably the most critical skill necessary for the success of our organization?

What if we were to actually build a leadership dojo?

What if we, as an organization, spent time on a daily or weekly basis practicing critical skills such as effective conversations or powerful moods? Imagine a place where leaders could practice the body, moods, emotions, and conversations of leadership in a safe environment designed for learning. In this learning environment the values of the company are the learning standard, they are what students practice to embody. In this learning dojo, the leaders of the company teach the future leaders of the company how they are to act and lead. What a powerful place this could be.

What could come of building a culture of leadership, and a place to learn leadership, within your organization? You tell me, if you are practicing leadership in a dojo already, I would bet you are creating more of the self-mastery, and the cultivation of other leaders and teams, that are taking your organization where you want it to go. If not, you could just maintain the status-quo – and you will keep getting what you are getting!

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