Mike Doyle is an innovative and inspiring experiential expert, changing the way his teams approach learning, growth and leadership. As we continue our month dedicated to immersive learning, enjoy this Q+A with Mike as he shares his reflections on committing to a deep learning process and developing a routine of a practice.
This month's theme is all about immersive learning. Tell us how this theme has played a role in your personal or professional life.
I had my first real immersive learning experience through an outdoor leadership program where I spent two weeks canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters at the age of 18. Although the activities and beauty of the wilderness were memorable, I learned more about myself, the importance of leadership and the power of working within a team. These lessons have stayed with me and shaped my career as an outdoor guide, leadership educator and executive coach.
At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe a commitment to Living and Doing can impact our perspective and influence our future decisions?
When we commit to a deep learning process that builds new skills and transforms our mindset and behaviors, I believe we gain confidence and hope for future opportunities. I've also found that when I let go of my ego and comforts of daily life for the opportunity to learn something new, I shape and strengthen my values. The reflective learning process creates great clarity for me and I can see a path forward through difficult situations or unknown circumstances. The challenge is to consistently reengage in the reflection process to maintain that clarity. Like many habits such as mindfulness, exercise and healthy eating, it requires discipline and a routine of practice.
What is one hard lesson you learned in this past year that contributed to your growth?
I learned that, when we work in an organization, we can't always control the timeline or pace at which decisions and progress are made. I felt challenged to find the healthy balance of being patiently optimistic while also nudging the process along in a respectful way so others see that I care. I adopted the phrase "healthy agitation" to represent my sense of urgency in meetings and communications.
What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2023?
I would like to develop my gardening skills to the point where my family is mostly self-reliant for our fruits and vegetables.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by any business leader who is able to achieve personal and company success while also committing resources and solutions towards social, racial and environmental justice.
At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource (book, podcast, article, anything!) you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in the next year?
In addition to any book or podcast, I would recommend anyone to focus on one thing they want to learn in the next year and support that learning process with a healthy mix of relevant books or podcasts, AND engage in conversation with other people who may be more experienced or further in the learning same learning journey so you can be fulfilled and inspired, AND commit to a consistent and realistic routine of practice and reflection; daily, weekly, etc. For anyone who needs a jumpstart on their growth plan, I'd recommend Michael Ray's The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment.
What's next? What are you excited about in the coming year?
At work, I am most excited to launch our first leadership fellows program for our professional MBA students who are committed to improving as socially responsible leaders. The program will include course work, leadership coaching, peer networking groups and a capstone project where they will have to do a podcast interview with a leader they admire. It will truly be an immersive learning experience for 25 students over 10 months.
Mike is an instructor, trainer, coach and facilitator in areas of leadership, personal growth and professional development and specializes in translating research into innovative practices for emerging and experienced leaders. He is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations in their pursuit of defining values, improving process, building culture and achieving success. Mike currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Leadership at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School as well as an adjunct faculty in management.