Monday, December 15, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 350

#Learning must be like a web.  It must be sticky, lead to future #connections, and must never let go. #QuoteADay #Day350 #edchat #satchat

I’m a big relationship guy.  I believe in the power of relationships, and value cultivating and keeping relationships over many other aspects of leadership and learning.

So for me, as we were engaging in a discussion in our Executive Cabinet meeting today on the importance of building a network where your opportunities to learn with others are so deep that everyone wants to continue the relationship, truly hit home. 

When we build relationships with others, we need to make sure that the relationships are deep enough so that everyone involved can easily see their worth.

This often means treating learning like a spider’s web. 

Webs work wonders for three main reasons.  First, they are sticky, and like sticky ideas, they tend to occupy our thinking and our actions.  Second, partly due to the stickiness (but also partly because of how they’re made), webs tend to never let go; we’ll all been privy to the spider web we walk through that takes us forever to pick off.  Finally, the best webs are all about connections.  They either lead to additional webbings, or lead us to somewhere we haven’t looked at closely before.

The best learning is much the same.  When learning is sticky, and when it grabs a hold and never lets us go, we can say we’re truly engaged in the process.  And when we follow those sticky ideas to their source, or let them float around in our mind for a bit, we’re often led to explore other fascinating things.

This deep learning is both a prerequisite for, and a consequence of, relationship building.  The more interesting an idea or thinking process, the more likely we will deepen our relationships solely for engaging in it.  In addition, the deeper our relationships, the more we can push our collaboration to explore truly rigorous and challenging ideas, without having to worry about others giving up or not having the capacity to advance any further.

Learning needs to be like a web.  And like the best webs, we need to both admire, and experience, all that it has to offer.

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