We take leadership development pretty seriously at Daxko. Every team lead participates in an extensive training program, called Leadership Academy, that teaches us how to be better leads with classes on topics like performance planning and active coaching.
But just like the good old days of college, Leadership Academy doesn’t last forever. Eventually, you graduate with your M.D. (Masters of Daxko).
On a recent trip, Lisa H. (a fellow M.D.) and I were talking about how we missed the interactions with other leads that we enjoyed in Leadership Academy. After we graduated, we found ourselves so focused on leading our teams that we spent little time thinking or talking about how we led—and we both agreed that kind of stunk.
Over a sub-par breakfast at gate 23 at Midway Airport, we decided to do something about it. We joined forces with Daxko’s People team and created a new venue for our peers and us to talk about the issues that we face as leaders: the League of Extraordinary Leaders. (It’s OK; you can laugh. We know it’s a silly name, but we embrace our silliness at Daxko from time to time.)
The League is intended to be organic and conversational—a complement to Leadership Academy’s more formal structure. We wanted to create a place where we could share openly with other leads, talk about our struggles and worries, seek each other’s wisdom, and support each other as we lead our teams. It’s one part conversation, one part knowledge sharing, and one part group therapy.
Our first meeting — a fishbowl discussion about balancing tactical and strategic leadership — was this week. As facilitator, I worried that we’d have awkward lulls in the discussion, but we kept a lively and helpful discussion going for the full hour. That hour reminded me that I work alongside some phenomenal people, and I went about the rest of my day with renewed energy and sense of purpose for the work we do at Daxko.
We’re going to keep it up with meetings once a month on topics that our peers surface and vote on. We’ll change up the format some to keep it fresh, I’m sure, but we won’t waver in our commitment to helping each other grow.
After all, if there’s one thing we at Daxko know and believe beyond doubt, it’s this: we are “all together, better.”
Will S. is a product strategist and designer who measures real life objects in pixels and pinches to zoom on his paper edition of Wired magazine.