Kevin Eikenberry: Chief Potential Officer, Kevin Eikenberry Group Indianapolis, Indiana

By Gaul, Patty | Talent Development, March 2016 | Go to article overview

Kevin Eikenberry: Chief Potential Officer, Kevin Eikenberry Group Indianapolis, Indiana


Gaul, Patty, Talent Development


Kevin Eikenberry is the chief potential officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group. He also is an author, trainer, speaker, and consultant. Eikenberry and his team are committed to helping organizations, leaders, and individuals reach their potential.

WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR TODAY'S LEADER?

There's no single answer to that. It's a question that has to be answered personally. So the biggest challenge for leaders today is for them to determine for themselves what their biggest challenge is, and to be self-aware; to be open enough to figure that out and then pursue the task of getting better at it.

We could take five business leaders and we could say their approaches are different, their strengths are different. Who they are informs how they lead, and that's OK.

That doesn't mean-and here's the slippery slope-that however they lead is fine. What it means is that we have some strengths that we bring to the table and we have some blind spots that we also bring to the table. Our job is to keep getting better, not to try to become somebody else.

And our job as a leader is to take who we are and what we are and work from there so we can lead authentically. We've got to keep getting better at it because we are not good enough; we can improve. It's all about who we are and striving to be more effective, more influential, more helpful, and more confident.

YOU TALK ABOUT GETTING LEARNERS EXCITED ABOUT TRAINING BY ADDRESSING THEIR PAIN. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

I want people to be willing learners; I want to do everything that I can to influence them to want to learn because everybody wins if that happens. I can deliver a training module but if participants aren't interested, it doesn't really matter. Part of my job is to get them excited about the learning-in other words, everything I'm trying to do is about influencing them to make a choice to learn.

What I know from observation and research is that most of us are more interested in avoiding pain than moving toward pleasure. We like pleasure, but we'd rather avoid the risk, or avoid the pain, or relieve the pain. The metaphor that some people use-although it's probably overused-is that we buy more aspirin than we do vitamins, that's the point.

In short, I strive to help people see what's in it for them, so that they choose to learn, grow, and improve.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

There are a couple of things that I'm spending a lot of time thinking about. …

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