Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's All About Learning

In my daily work in data warehousing and business intelligence I frequently use today's title phrase (It's All About Learning) to depict the key success factor for many projects. Learning becomes tantamount when you and your team face a challenge without a clear path to success and success depends on your ability and your team's ability to learn and understand the challenge, tools, techniques, process, and technology. Learning amidst these types of challenges is where you might hear me say, "It's all about learning."

I propose that the link between leadership and learning is inseparable. As President John F Kennedy wrote, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." I feel lucky to work in a field and in a place where learning is closely linked to success. I have frequently said, the perfect job may be the job where an employer pays you to learn. Even on the worst of days when your core energy is consumed with office politics, turf wars, buggy software, or unappreciative users, I hope you can still say, "Well....., I'm learning a lot"

I have also discovered that my favorite people to work with are the people that I label as "a student of their space." These are the folks who are looking to master their craft and constantly expand their understanding. They are the constant learners and experimenters and people who are comfortable working amidst ambiguity. These are the folks who don't mind doing a little throwaway work in the interest of learning.

So what are the recommendations for Quiet Leaders? I have previously cited and am inspired by the the work of consultant Rosa Say and her Twelve Rules of Self-Leadership. Amongst this list there are three rules that speak to the importance of learning as part of your leadership-learning plan:

5. Learn to love ideas and experiments. Turn them into pilot programs that preface impulsive decisions. Everything was impossible until the first person did it.
6. Live in wonder. Wonder why, and prize “Why not?” as your favorite question. Be insatiably curious, and question everything.
11. Be a lifelong learner, and be a fanatic about it. Surround yourself with mentors and people smarter than you. Seek to be continually inspired by something, learning what your triggers are.

Leaders and learners looking for more inspiration, opportunities, and links, should check out the 7 Wonders of Joyful Jubilant Learning at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. In recognition of the special date, 07-07-07, this virtual learning community, set as a goal to solicit from the world learning community, 777 learning links. There efforts are indeed "all about learning."

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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