This week I have enjoyed several great conversations around leadership as I have accompanied Nick Barker to various meetings. Nick heads up the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) at the East West Center in Hawaii. Here is one memorable quote from Nick who was in turn quoting someone else. He said

“Education is what remains when what has been learnt has been forgotten”
What we need today in leadership formation is more ‘education’ and less teaching. I remember reading that learning does not take place when the teacher has finished speaking but rather when the learner has learnt. Information (on leadership) that is not absorbed and appropriated…that doesn’t transform, is just more noise in an already noisy system.
True learning takes time, patience and an inherent understanding of and trust in ‘process’. It is not the absence of teachers that is the problem – we are constantly surrounded by ‘teachers’, but rather it is the lack of readiness or awareness to learn that is the problem.
How to cultivate greater awareness to the available learning is the ongoing task of leadership. It becomes a personal challenge and I suspect that each adventurer is required to find his or her own way. In spite of this I also believe paradoxically that such a journey is a journey shared.
For me I have found that slow is the pace and less often means more. But that’s for me.

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