Learning by Example

We often hear the expression "teaching by example" — providing a role model for others is especially valuable when in highly visible positions. If that is true, imagine how much truer is seeing a leader learning by example.

A few years ago, during a Wharton Leadership Forum, I had the opportunity to meet Marshall Goldsmith and I was impressed in more than one way. In the midst of giving us a self-focused vs. self-centered pep talk, encouraging us to pursue greatness he touched a connection node.

He demonstrated an ability to learn by example when he reached out to the room addressing women from their/our point of view, compassionately (Lat. compassio = deep awareness).

As I felt at the time, you cannot fake connection, it happens at the individual level, even in a room full of people.

Those who fail in social, do so because they fail to see that the opportunity to create value is in the eyes and experience of the person taking advantage of it. You have the honor of building a platform, or joining one, creating the context or making a situation possible to empower people to do things with it.

Two thoughts on learning by example:

  1. why not be deeply there, focused on the question/problem/issue/opportunity
  2. what's in it for you is likely to become clearer through participation

A couple of days ago, Edward Boches asked a good question#: has twitter become just a broadcast platform? Curiosity, the desire to learn by example, may have become a closer characteristic to connection-seeking than creativity, after all.

Curiosity is the most powerful thing you have.


[quote courtesy]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

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