Archives For Learning

Elevator ButtonsMy grandfather’s occupation was servicing elevators for a national elevator company. As a teenager I remember going with him on a few “trouble calls”, as he referred to them. He was usually responding to an elevator stuck between floors or a door that wouldn’t open.

During my grandfather’s career, elevators were analog creations of switches, relays and breakers. He could visualize each of those mechanical parts in operation, not just physically but schematically.

When the new computerized elevator models came out my grandfather knew it was time to retire. He was lost in the world of binary language, if_then statements and CPU programming. It was all too abstract for his mechanical mind.

Here are a few emerging ways of leading with technology that may seem abstract to traditional leaders. Today’s leaders will have to embrace these new technologies¬†or be prepared to go into retirement like my grandfather.

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Crying IndianRemember the PSA commercial with the crying Indian? Or the ad that said, “This is your brain on drugs“? How many kids felt overwhelmed by Smokey the bear telling them, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.“?

These are examples of successful ad campaigns that significantly impacted public opinion on the topics of littering, drug abuse and wild fires.

Leaders and communicators attempting to change the thinking of people, can learn from these effective PSAs that learning is a campaign.

To often communicators think of learning as a single lesson or speech. While history is full of famous speeches, the truth is those immortalized speeches were part of a larger campaign.

  • Before the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus traveled throughout all of Galilee and Syria.
  • Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” came after four years of civil war.
  • “I Have a Dream” was preceded by the March on Selma and “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” plus dozens of rallies.

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books in trashIf every book in your personal library is still worth reading, then you haven’t expanded your learning very much over the years.

There are books I no longer read and truthfully no longer agree with because I have changed my thinking about their content.

Learning goes deep in our identity, and it is very difficult to change our thinking once we have found a lens through which to satisfactorily interpret the world around us.

But I have discovered that true growth requires a broader understanding of learning beyond my current lens on life.

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