How do leaders become better leaders?
By learning how to create space instead of taking up space. They need to see themselves as experience designers, fostering and modeling a culture of co-creation.
How can college students start a dialogue with someone they may want as a mentor?
Find where your goals overlap and create a relationship based on mutual benefit. Try to engage in solving real problems in the real world together, at least at first. Helping students with virtualized projects is not very enticing. But working with developing learners and problem solvers on real problems together is fun.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
No one is ever in a leadership position for the first time. Recognize that everyone involved is a leader for part of what is happening, and help them understand the value they add. Use the art of appreciative inquiry to connect everyone with their own internal Why.
For someone beginning their journey as an entrepreneur, and learning the importance of networking and making connections--how can they continue to grow and strengthen their network?
Express interest in everything and everybody. There is always something to learn from every endeavor anyone is involved in, even if on the surface it is not tied to yours.
When you meet people, ask them about what they are striving to bring into the world, and the opportunities and challenges they are facing along the way. Ask what they love to do.
In terms of growing your network, join Toastmasters, organize a TEDx event, attend conferences, and get involved in doing things in your community with others that add value to the world. Get out and do things, whether you feel you are ready or not.
For someone thinking about starting their own company, what are some important things to consider before making the leap?
Start with Why Connect with other people who share your internal why. In my company, we are working towards supporting a sustainable future. Anyone wanting to join because they want fame or money is not going to bring what is needed to help fulfill our mission. But maybe their largest why is that it feeds their soul to help others discover their own strengths. That why is part of our larger why, and that works perfectly.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
The ability to look inward and be honest about what you see
The creativity and drive to turn obstacles into springboards
The ability to need-find, to understand what you must learn to design for that need, learn it, or find someone else who knows it and convince them to join your quest.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
The best form of marketing is a powerful story about an incredible product, and how it fits into the stories of others.
Aaron Eden is co-founder of Eliad Group, a transformation design firm working with schools and organizations globally to humanize educational & organizational practices towards a sustainable future. Aaron's work involves helping people design their own growth paths, sometimes through social entrepreneurship and impact learning, and spans education, innovation, and entrepreneurship spaces.