Vickie Milazzo wrote an interesting article on learning. She outlines 8 ways to learn in a more childlike manner. All of her points are pretty sound, but my favorite snippet is #4:
“Be willing to learn from anyone and everyone.”
Grown-ups seem to have a love affair with paper. Specifically, the fancy paper printed with initials like MBA, PhD, JD, and the like. The kind of paper signed by bigwigs at universities — the more prestigious, the better. These pieces of paper — also called certificates and diplomas — are a great sign of accomplishment, but they can also lead to two unfortunate maladies. For some, these pieces of paper represent an end to education, with the implied assertion that there is nothing more to learn. The second — and most dangerous — is the arrogance that anyone with a less prestigious piece of paper hanging on their wall is somehow a class or two below.
Kids aren’t imprisoned by this grown-up fascination with ink and paper. Every day they’re awake, every person they meet, every situation they find themselves in, is an opportunity to learn something new. We should follow their example. Consider this excerpt from Vickie’s article:
When I recommended company-wide brainstorming to a CEO group I belonged to, all they saw was the cost of shutting down their businesses for the day. They didn’t understand that an idea from a $12-per-hour employee could launch a new division, service or product, adding tremendous value to the company for years to come.
You’ll find mentors in many guises, from business associates to family members, friends and colleagues. Although I’ve been in my business for more than two decades, I still learn every day – not only from recognized experts, but especially from my students and staff members, outside consultants and vendors, favorite writers and speakers, and other CEOs.
Learning possibilities aren’t limited to “learned” teachers or a classroom setting. Stay open to learning everywhere you go, from everyone you know.
Regardless of your age, keep your eyes open for new things to learn. You may be surprised at what you can gain from people who are a few years away from being the proud owners of a piece of paper framed on their wall.
[tags]education, learning, curiosity, degrees, wisdom, PhD, MBA, diploma, teaching[/tags]