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The month's most fascinating learning news.

Bend the Knee: Why Humility is a Core Quality for Leaders

In an era where charisma and arrogance seem to go hand-in-hand with leadership, some employers are recognizing the need to look for humility in leaders. Why? Research and experts show that humble leaders are far more effective than the Emperor Palpatines, Helas, and Lex Luthors of the universe. Leaders who demonstrate humility aren’t afraid to ask for help or feedback, appreciate their team members’ strengths, are willing and eager to continuously improve, and inspire the same in their team. 

Humble leaders can still be competitive and ambitious, but they generally avoid the spotlight and are less focused on their own self-interest, instead choosing to recognize and give more credit to their teams. Keep reading.



Q&A With Learning Leaders

What makes a great manager or leader? What are some important skills for the future of work? And, what was your very first job? See what learning leaders Amy Speranza of General Electric, Julie Cardwell of PG&E, and Jarron Cozad of Mountain America Credit Union had to say.

 

Heavy Hitters: Identifying and Motivating Employees with High Learning Potential and Creativity

Every organization has them: superstar employees who are reliable, thrive on challenges, seek out more work, help their peers, and have the potential to be a key driver of organizational performance: high potential employees. What are some ways managers can identify their high-potentials? HR Dive suggests three key characteristics that define high-potentials:

  • Learnability - High-potential employees show a desire and ability to improve their existing skills and add to their skill set, especially as employees will constantly need to develop new skills in the future.

  • Adaptability - In addition to learning quickly, high-potential employees also innovate, explore, and create at a rapid pace.

  • Curiosity - High-potential employees tend to seek out and push for more training, with a strong thirst for learning.


Managers can also keep an eye out for employees who are motivated to solve problems, consistently ask thoughtful questions, and volunteer—whether it’s at work or in their community. Read on.

 

Yes, And: Insights From Continuous Learning Leaders


We recently hosted a professional development and networking event at The Second City, with a learning leaders panel hosted by Mike Prokopeak of Human Capital Media and featuring John Kaplan of Discover, Julianne Rollefson of Harley-Davidson, Matthew Eade of Empire Today, and Carlos Velazquez of Mead Johnson.

Inspired by improv theater troupe The Second City, which boasts alumni including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris, Keegan-Michael Key, and Stephen Colbert, our panelists considered the general improv idea of “Yes, and …” the concept where people continuously build off of each other’s ideas and shared about learning and leadership development at their respective organizations. Watch the full video.

 

The Gig is Up: The State of the Gig Economy

There’s a lot of talk around how quickly the gig economy will grow and how much it will expand. While estimates from Cornell and the Aspen Institute indicate between 25 - 30 percent of the workforce currently engages in the gig economy in some capacity and that number will grow, only about 10 percent use gig work for their full-time jobs. “On-demand services where you get your next gig from an app like Lyft or Task Rabbit represent an even smaller percentage of gig workers,” with other workers finding more traditional gigs without being “digitally summoned.”

Each generation also struggles with different challenges as gig workers: boomers are concerned with the lack of benefits, while Gen Xers and millennials fear not being paid for sick leave. While there are ways to alleviate these fears, generational needs in the gig economy affects the number of those who gig full-time.

The gig economy will certainly continue to grow, and will be closely tied with how organizations evolve in the future of work, but is much more nuanced than simply becoming a dominating part of the workforce. Read on.