[January 13, 2015] Leaders fulfill their responsibility by possessing a special readiness to learn. Such learning readiness refers to the likelihood a leader will seek both knowledge and a change in behavior. While there are many factors that influence a senior leader’s readiness to learn, it is incumbent upon that the leader overcome any obstacle and promote advantages to learning.
“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.” – Chinese Proverb
Senior leaders can be distinguished from others in several ways. First, senior leaders take advantage of other senior leader wisdom. They have the contacts with key people that others simply don’t have. Second, senior leaders have access and credentials to advanced learning institutions that most people don’t even know exist. Many of these institutions require special admittance through a combination of previous advanced college degrees, senior leader positions held, advanced professional certifications, and sometimes through security clearances.
Senior leaders also advance the concept that furthering the education of others provides everyone a unique advantage. They understand that creativity and inspiration come from an educated populace, those who are encouraged to progress themselves intellectually and morally. This fits most senior leadership techniques because leaders know they must set the example for others to follow. As such, they are stepping well outside their comfort zone.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso
Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century.1,2 He is telling us that the achievements that are so difficult to do are intertwined with creative learning. Academic professionals reinforce his point by telling us that learning requires creativity but also motivation. One difference between those who are leaders and those who are not, is the leader has the personal drive and motivation to learn.
A readiness to learn is a leader duty. The readiness to learn big things is a senior leader duty. Regardless of who were are or what position we may hold as a leader, one thing stands out among those who are the most successful and most appreciated – and that is a well educated leader.
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