Why leadership by bestseller is a doomed strategy for becoming a better leader.
What does it really mean to learn?
What does it mean to learn?
In our industrialized educational culture, we think it means regurgitation for standardized test performance. Then we grow up and become leaders and continue the pattern by reading and espousing leadership theories from books. But if leadership by bestseller works, you could simply memorize a book or two and be great at business. Then why does Don Miller, for example, need to provide a 2 day workshop to train someone in the Storybrand framework? And why does that training include real time, practical situations for applying the Storybrand principles? Why couldn’t every leader simply read the book and make it happen? We know this intuitively, but we’ve built systems counter to it.
Learning is not simply regurgitation.
Learning is not completed in the memorization of a theory or a fact. Learning is evidenced by the creation of something new. Creation result not only from remembering new ideas and facts, but in understanding them, applying information into new situations and contexts, analyzing how those ideas work, evaluating them for their value, and then creating something new from them.
If you want to look into this more, Google Bloom’s revised taxonomy of learning. The ultimate evidence of learning is creation. It’s not enough to remember a fact, understand a concept, apply that information into a situation, draw a connection, or justify a stand or decision.
You must produce an original work. You must create.
Words associated with creation are — design, assemble, construct, conjecture, develop, author, investigate, and formulate. When you create, you are forming.
Throughout our culturally accepted learning process, you are gathering and regurgitating information, but in contrast, creation is the ultimate evidence of learning. More than that, creation is the ultimate evidence of formation.
I’m glad that you bought this book, but reading this book is not enough. For it to have any impact at all, you must create something new from it. You must be truly formed by it.
Think about ways we often prioritize how we learn leadership or management. Any digital source of information without engagement is limited to remembering and understanding. Courses and workshops are good, but they end with application and analysis. Only direct engagement with real-time, real-life challenges and opportunities necessitate evaluation and creation. And only consistent engagement with those active challenges offer the full range of learning in a true taxonomy of learning.
So what do you need to do to really learn?
Remember facts from memory
Understand the context of facts through connections
Apply facts to address challenges and opportunities
Analyze to distinguish parts of facts through comparison and contrast to create information
Evaluate to justify a stand or decision on values related to the information
Create new uses for the evaluated information
The ultimate evidence of learning is in the creation of something new. Regurgitation is the first step of learning. Creation is the final step.
Creation > Regurgitation.