This week kicks off a new academic year in much of the Northern Hemisphere. As classes resume, here’s a critical question for our ongoing personal, team, and organizational effectiveness: is learning a phase of life or a way of life?

Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Learning is to leadership as seeding is to reaping. We can only reap in proportion to what we’ve sown and cultivated. What team or organizational leadership seeds have you planted with your underlying (and often unconscious) beliefs? What kind of boss have you grown into? How do you rate on the five most critical skills for leaders? Do you LOL for peak team and organizational performance?

The safety, customer service, quality, innovation, and productivity that a team or an organization reaps come from the learning, values, and behaviors sown in its culture. What cultural seeds have been planted in your team or organization? What kind of harvest is your culture producing? Is your team or organization continuously growing the three core attributes of healthy performance? Does your management team understand what it takes to lead a peak performance culture or are you innocently ignorant? How’s your balance of technical, management, and leadership? Are you continually cultivating your Timeless Leadership skills?

If we aren’t planting, cultivating, and growing new leadership skills, our yields will be very thin indeed! Effective learning often comes from effective questions. Tomorrow we’ll publish the September issue of The Leader Letter pulling together all my August blogs. The issue asks and addresses these and many other questions concerning the “soft skills” of leadership and culture. May you read it and reap!