“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.
Learning experiences are like journeys. The journey starts where the learning is now, and ends when the learner is successful. The end of the journey isn’t knowing more, it’s doing more.
Real learning is transformative and it changes us as people, deep inside our hearts and minds. The reason why the Pali word ‘citta’ –which translates as heart or mind – is so important in considering a Buddhist approach to learning.
It lies somewhere between ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ and thus combines the modern educational jargon of the ‘cognitive’ and the ‘affective’. No such dichotomy exists in Buddhist thinking which is whole and complete.
The primacy of mind and reason has dominated western thinking since the (European) Enlightenment, resulting in the relegation of the heart and emotions to a lower order. The Buddha was perhaps the original post-modernist who provides a model for learning in which the heart and mind are rightly inextricably joined. It is the basis for a truly holistic philosophy of education.
Few CEOs would dispute the importance of continuing education and professional development for themselves and their team members. There are several resources that can help a busy CEO keep learning and growing professionally and personally which include: MOOCs, VC blogs and networking opportunities.
Or find a mentor who you can learn from. Preferably that person isn’t your direct manager, because you want to be able to ask stupid questions without worrying about looking stupid.
It can be difficult to make time for learning as a CEO. The key lies in honestly making time to meet your professional development goals. The right balance between managing your company and growing your own skills and abilities is possible with a little planning and research.
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” ~ Harry S Truman
There is no terminal degree in education. The whole purpose of education being to convert an ‘empty’ mind into an open mind. “Being a student is easy. There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. Jiddu Krishnamurti
Learning anything requires commitment and the ability to push through the uncomfortable feeling of not being very good until reaching competency. While on the path to competency, a little motivation can go a long way.
Then there is tons of wisdom from the land of early inhabitants. If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents – African proverb. Learning expands great souls – Namibian proverb. To get lost is to learn the way – African proverb.
Indra Nooyi says, “Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organisation. I’ve never forgotten that.”
Many people write and talk about leaders leading learning and change, but by doing the work, by engaging in the spirit of inquiry, the whole process becomes the leadership of change.
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere,” as goes the Chinese Proverb.