Book a Discovery Conversation

Learning changes us...and our world.

My son is in first grade, which means he is growing his reading skills. This experience is proving to be both a joy and a challenge. He lights up when he sounds out a new word and gets flustered by why ‘c’ sometimes sounds like ‘s’ and other times mimics ‘k.’  As a kid who has learned to talk, walk, and ride a bike, you would think learning new skills is routine practice.

Every time I am interested in learning something new, there is the idea of acquiring the skill, which is a huge motivator, and then there is the actual work to obtain it, which is often painful and full of failure for the first bit.

Leaders are learners. 

Those able to be taught are those best prepared to lead.

Our lasting influence comes through the continual forming of our character, not our role. Character is only able to be shaped by humbling ourselves to realize we don’t know it all (a hard truth for me at times but an obvious one, nonetheless).

When we take the posture of a learner, we lead ourselves, which affects every space we inhabit.

The change is worth it.

While this work sometimes feels like Sysyphus, our growth is worth the outcome. Just think of my son– as he grows his reading competence a whole new world of imagination and education will begin to unfold. The more we practice the process of growth, whether in reading, well-being, or organizational leadership, the more we move through growth pains toward mind and body integration and more wide-spread application. Our new skills actually move the boulder of leadership forward. 

We get stuck in the difficulty. 

The challenge for all of us in growing is pushing through the real or perceived pain. I sometimes wonder if the saying about the inability for an old dog to learn new tricks is because of a Neutonian problem of being out of motion for too long. They haven’t had the routine attempts so they stop trying. The treat is not as motivating as it used to be because getting started has not been a daily practice. But practice and failure and trying again is what makes the trick stick.

If you feel like you have old dog syndrome, remember that learning is never stunted by age. And, as Newton’s law reminds us, once we get into motion, it’s easier to stay in motion, which means mastery of new skills is closer the more we practice.

What about you? 

What new skill are you learning to grow your personal leadership? Where do you see the skill influencing more than your own self?

Personal Note

In the last year I have been learning new life-skills as well. My most recent and poignant learning is around coaching and becoming certified through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). My own immersion into the learning process is giving me empathy for my son. While coaching is not new for me, the method of coaching I am learning is helping me to undo some of my practices that fall more inline with my consulting experience and integrate new practices that support empowering clients to activate their calling and voice in the world. 

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