Breath of Clarity

Comment #1: Leadership for Environmental Managers Student-Generated Critical Questions

Original Post by Will Magnum:

We talk about how leadership can be implemented but the training of employees and their learning is vital to growth as well. What strategies can companies implement to create a better learning atmosphere for their employees?

My Comment:

Hi Will,

Awesome question.

The best way to create a better learning atmosphere for the employees is for a leader to share their personal learning endeavors to the staff. In general, the leader is showing their staff the importance of seeing challenges as opportunities for growth. The leader is, from the get go, modeling humility and curiosity. The leader would be vulnerable in making known that they do not know everything and still have room for development. By letting their followers in on their journey, the leader is also asking to be held accountable. Then, the followers will get a sense of the diligence and resiliency required to truly learn as they watch the leader move along in achieving the plan’s milestones. Finally, the followers will watch the leader succeed and want to experience that same sense of gratification themselves.

Another strategy is to focus on getting to know the social styles of the employees. Doing so will inform how to create the conditions most conducive to supporting them in their unique learning processes. For instance, analytical people prefer intellectual work environments and amiable people are motivated by having friendly, close personal, relationships with others. Since learning can involve struggle, it is important to know each social style’s needs in stressful situations and act accordingly. Followers who can sense support from leaders gain trust in the leaders and, in turn, buy-in to the team vision. Once the followers are committed to the vision, they will want to learn.

My final strategy is to create a learning atmosphere based upon having no fear of failure. The first step in doing so is seeing people as the organization’s most important resource and radiating the belief that everyone can be a leader. From there, a foundational value needs to be appreciating failure as a stepping stone to success. A leader needs to instill a perception of failure as the opportunity to begin again, only more educated (Manning 2014).


Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill