We often hear that Leaders are Readers. Data shows that every successful leader anywhere in the world reads. I believe that Leaders are Learners, with a “forever student” mindset. They trust the knowledge and experiences they have gained over time while staying extremely open minded to new knowledge, perspectives and ideas to challenge their own.
The world we live in and where it is headed, this is the most important trait for future Leaders – a “Forever Student” mindset. In my own quest for learning and challenging assumptions, I believe that learning comes in many forms – through your passions, your mental well being, creative intellectual activity, changing circumstances, doing things out of your comfort zone, exchanging ideas and so forth.
Learning allows Creativity
Here are my 5 foundations that help me experience the magic of a “forever student” mindset:
Being rational with the old and new
Everything evolves, so do views and perspectives. I like to listen, reflect, sometimes talk through with my tribe and get my own perspective. May goal always is to have a perspective. Perspectives evolve through our experiences, phases of life, circumstances and personal growth and this makes me feel free and not tied to a view or opinion.
Knowing my learning style
I like learning by doing i.e. when I read something that gets my attention, I like to apply it in real world to experience it myself. To give an example – this HBR article – Make your meetings a safe space for honest conversations shared the value of “No Secrets meetings” which intrigued me. I tried it in my team and it is the mantra of my monthly leadership meetings creating space of humane open-hearted conversations.
I never always know the way
I like to believe that I will never know the way but I have enough trust in my cognitive abilities that I will figure it out if it is important to me. I can always know a lot but never enough is what keeps me intrigued and excited for learning.
Putting the request out in the universe
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is slowly becoming a part of my life as oxygen for my body and brain. In my short 6+ months of learning and practicing Transcendental Meditation I experienced a clear mind without any noise.
A clear mind feels less overwhelmed, allowing space for new learning. Since Transcendental Meditation allows for thoughts to come and go and while connecting to the sub-conscious as part of the practice of stillness, I believe the messages are out in the universe, which transpires for that learning to come my way
Accepting that Mistakes or Failures are my best teachers
Without a doubt every successful person regardless of the worldly measurement criteria of success has one common theme in their lives – that they have more failures than successes – and they never stopped – keeping the focus on what it taught them.
My failures or not getting that I thought I wanted has taught me two lessons:
1. believe in what happens or does not happen – happens for a reason – stop and pay attention on what is it teaching me
2. if I want it badly enough, I’ll figure it out
The more we learn the broader our perspectives creating open minds and hearts for new thinking.