How can leaders can build learning into their leadership practices? Here is 5Mins & 5Qs with Professor Chris Kayes.

Chris Kayes is a professor, author, coach, and speaker. His books Organizational Resilience and The Learning Advantage: Six practices of learning directed leadership, explore how leaders can build learning into their leadership and organizational practices. His research on experiential learning, teams, and organization crisis describe how popular leadership practices can lead to disastrous outcomes when taken to an extreme. He is currently working on a book about the psychology of self-improvement and how people can build attitudes that lead to successful improvement efforts.

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What are you reading at the moment?

I am reading “How you learn is how you live: Using Nine Ways of Learning to Transform your life” by Kay Peterson and David Kolb of the Institute for Experiential Learning. The book serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding how you learn and how the concept of learning style can help us develop and grow in new areas. Rather than seeing our learning style as fixed, the book helps us imagine additional possibilities and to explore new routes to our own improvement.

What’s keeping you awake at night?

Mostly my wife and I stay awake way too late watching the latest British reality TV and drama. The rise of streaming services in the US has opened up a tremendous amount of great new content.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

Besides family and friends, a good cup of coffee in the morning would be hard to give up.

What is the hardest thing you overcame?

Professionally, taking on leadership roles in various organizations can be great learning experiences. Especially for people, like me, who study leadership and management. Oftentimes, theories do not work as planned in the messiness of the real world.

How did you get out of your own way ?

My current obstacles are about overcoming the desire to go in multiple directions at once. I am trying to stay focused on a few, important projects, and not getting too distracted. Since I am generally optimistic and easily excited about new projects and ideas, I often take on too many new projects!

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