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#2 of 5 Essential Elements of Leadership Development: LEAD THE WORK

In our last blog post, we started a four-part series highlighting five essential elements of leadership development. That post focused on what it means to lead yourself, and one way to do that is to bring your “A Game” to the work you do and how you do it.

Working on personal leadership development

In this post, we’d like to ask you two questions: Do you know your goals? And how do you know when you’ve accomplished those goals?


We’re dedicating our attention now to what it means to lead the work: learning to get the work done with and through others. And to get the work done, we need to know our goals!


Dr. Amy Edmonson, Professor at Harvard Business School, challenges the way we see goal setting:

“Make your goals hypotheses, not facts. This way, they can be tested, pursued, and modified as you learn.”

What can prevent us from viewing our goals as hypotheses rather than facts? At Kane Learning, Curiosity is one of our core values. Shifting to that mindset requires intentionality.  

Mindset Shift: Curiosity

The goals we set are not all or nothing! All-or-nothing thinking is a fixed mindset and will undoubtedly lead to abandoning the goal we set the second life gets in the way – the day we oversleep, a kid is sick, and home from school, your calendar gets slammed with things out of your control – and suddenly, the deadline you set for yourself passes by and you let that goal go. An “unlock” in shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is leaning into curiosity. Instead of allowing the “missed” deadline to be the end of your goal, get curious! Sometimes, our initial goals fail, and that’s ok! Amy Edmonson goes on to say:

“The purpose is not necessarily to succeed, but instead to gather information that can help you make smarter decisions in the future.”

Revisit your goals with curiosity: What’s a realistic timeline NOW? Is this still the right goal?


When we are curious, we open ourselves up to learning. This mindset allows us to get more comfortable with learning instead of always getting it right. Researcher Dr. Carol Dweck explains it this way:

“We no longer need to be know-it-alls. We need to become learn-it-alls, infinitely adapting and adjusting to new information, environments, and people. Learning is no longer the mark of a novice. It is a life-long practice.” - Carol Dweck, Ph. D., Mindset, The New Psychology of Success

With a shift in mindset, we also need to get practical and build our skillsets around goal setting. If you want to learn about practical ways to pursue your goals, including getting specific and setting goals you are passionate about, click here to read more.

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