I don’t know if John Baldoni intended his latest leadership book to be about learning, but that’s exactly what it is about. Through other leaders’ stories and through his own experiences, Baldoni describes what outstanding leaders learn in order to be effective. He has an acronym for it: MOXIE. Putting this in terms of learning, here’s how I would define the elements of MOXIE:

  • Mindfulness - learning deeply about yourself; becoming aware of what you value and what Moxie-3dmotivates you; reflecting on and learning from your own experiences
  • Opportunity - learning to recognize needs in your environment and how to develop solutions to those needs
  • X-Factor - discovering what makes you unique and your special contribution to the success of your organization
  • Innovation - developing the ability to embrace the new, to take risks, to learn from your successes and your failures, and to persevere
  • Engagement - creating opportunities for others to learn and contribute to the success of the organization

Having MOXIE is having the ability to continually learn from your own experiences, from your interactions with the people around you, and from attending to the present while keeping an eye on the future.  The great leaders, as Baldoni suggests in his book, are not about command and control, as the popular wisdom about leadership would have us believe, but, instead, are learners who continually take in information from their environment and then, with courage and conviction, shape their behavior to fit the circumstances.