Leaders are Learners

I receive a great newsletter from Jay Lorenzen called Life and Leadership. Last month, the topic was “Leaders are Learners”. He wrote some great ideas, and I want to share two of them with you:



“Almost all biographers use the word ‘autodidact’ to describe US President Abraham Lincoln. To be an autodidact is to be self-taught. Lincoln never had the advantages of a thorough public education or the opportunity to learn from private tutors. From an early age, he took responsibility for his own learning.
To be an autodidact, we must assume responsibility for our own development.”


Graphic from Morten Hansen’s book, Great at Work.

Satisfice is a play on words that combines “satisfy” and “suffice”. How often are we tempted to satisfice, when it comes to learning something?

“Stanford Professor Carol Dweck argues that leaders need a growth mindset, to push beyond the stall. In Dweck’s theory, those who believe that you either have talent or not (a fixed mindset), don’t bother to improve much, while those who believe talent is malleable (a growth mindset) put in extra effort, even when they excel at something.

Pushing and improving regardless of our past achievements prevents us from falling into a common trap: the stall point. As we develop expertise and skill in an activity, we can become very good, maybe even excellent. But then something happens, we plateau.

We stop. We judge ourselves ‘good enough.’ We satisfice.

Let’s work to never satisfice when it comes to our learning, our leadership, our life.”

How do you ensure that you continue to learn as a leader?

For more about learning as a leader, please check out the “Learns as a Lifestyle” session of the Team Leader Training.

If you are interested, you can also sign up for Jay’s excellent newletter HERE.

Image by Anthony Berger, photographer. Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.)

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