Welcome to a learn.org podcast. We are here to support your learning, taking off the limits that we have accrued to our learning, and adding in those ingredients that we've learned from world class learners that have made them the best so that we can each update our own programming and become the best learners that we can be. We're really glad that you're here to share some time with us. We hope that this brings you exactly what you need today to better engage in your life and your learning,
Not uncommonly. As we get better and better at learning, we start to find ourselves in the position of leadership. Other people looking to us for direction, whether that is just friends going, what do you think about this? What's your take on this? All the way to, in a career position where we get promoted to greater and greater levels of leadership? So we thought we would take some time to do a podcast or maybe more than one, exploring how to lead. What are the qualities that we need to develop to make us better leaders? What are some of the perspectives, methods, approaches to leading? What do we need to know about that if we wanna explore that further, if we wanna become a good leader? I had the opportunity over to CEOs and their direct reports at many levels in business, a lot of those in Fortune 100 companies.
That led to delving pretty deeply into the various approaches to leadership. Over time, working in the corporate world became less interesting, and I moved more into working with owner, founder, leaders of privately own companies. Cause they had so much more capability to implement whatever it was that they wanted to implement. And they were often, in some ways, much more interesting people. So we wanna share some of this with you. Not so much to say, oh, let's prepare you to be the CEO of some big company, but the principles of leadership apply at any level of our life. They apply in being a leader amongst our friends, in our family, in organizations that we might be involved in. Another way to think about it is, how do I best contribute to this group of people that I'm engaged with? Leadership doesn't necessarily mean being at the head of the group.
So we're going to explore some of that with you. We wanna say upfront that there are a lot of different styles of leadership, and those have changed throughout history. So we're going to look at a number of different approaches. We're reminded of a time that we were studying the scientific method, and in that there is a lot of very prescribed, this is how it's done. And then there's some variations on it and a little bit different understandings of it. And then we came across a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, very renowned chemist, obviously a very good scientist. And what he said was, the scientific method is just whatever it is that scientists do. We think that same perspective applies when it comes to leadership. There is not a right way. There's certainly ways that don't work. There's certainly ways that diminish our capacity and effectiveness to engage with others.
But there are many ways that do work in those are often quite unique to each of us. The one indicator here is if our leadership, our engagement with others, gets formed around our ego and our mind, and that's what leads to charge. It's likely that in time that's going to break down. Leadership is not about just getting what we want, what serves us, but it is really about what serves the group, what serves the organization, what brings about the best result for everybody involved. And if we start to go against that, then in time there's going to be pushback. There's going to be glitches, there's going to be things that happen that basically give us feedback that this isn't working because it's too self-centered. Easy enough to spot ourselves. We know if we pay attention when we are sort of tensing up and pushing our agenda just because we wanna be right, just cause we want our outcome, just cause it serves us.
We know how to recognize that. So through all of this, keep in mind none of what we're putting out here is the way, but it's helpful to learn from others what others have done, what others have found to be successful, and to see how that incorporates well in our world. So let's think back over our last year here at Learn to Learn org and the things that we have been making available in terms of ways to enhance learning and ways to enhance success. How that leads to now spending a bit of time on leadership and how to become a good leader. What does that take and how is what we're doing fitting into that? If we look at any of the research that's available on leadership, any of the M that have been written on leadership, the most common thread is what is the quality of the leader?
When we think about the quality of the leader, that doesn't necessarily mean are they extroverted or introverted or are they a dynamic speaker or are they charismatic or all of that stuff. Certainly that plays a part, and that depends some on the circumstances and the time in history and such. But the deeper aspect is what's the quality of character and in what ways has this leader developed themselves? We all have our own shortcomings, our own demons, our own blind spots. How much have they addressed those and how much have they transformed themselves? Do they have integrity? Now, certainly with anything we ever say here, we can find exceptions to it. There are always those people that are very underdeveloped, total bullies that get into positions of great power and that people follow and that works for a while and then it doesn't. But if we're looking at the vast majority of leaders over a great period of time, it has always tended to be that those people who have really done their own work, they've become good learners, they have looked at their stuff and addressed it, they tend to be the ones that ultimately have the most influence over time.
Again, we would say we can find all kinds of exceptions. If we go to certain periods in history of the requirements of the time, it was the strong man that tended to win out. And there were reasons for that. There were reasons that people looked to that person, why they were either inspired by that person or fearful of that person that allowed them to take over their group, their tribe, their country, whatever it is. Again, in the long run, it is those people that have the greatest development of character and integrity that are trustable, that have developed their capacity to live well and engage well that are good learners that have those qualities to lead them to be able to be successful in their lives that other people look to. So when we're thinking about it here, we're not so much thinking about how to become the big shot ceo, how to become the president, how to become those big name leaders, but how to be a leader, how to be the kind person that other people look to and respond to that others consider their input and are affected by them so that we can be the kind of people that the world responds to in such a way that it changes and gets better cause of our input.
That's really how we're thinking about it here. And that can happen at many, many, many levels. There is an interesting quote from the sixth century BC Chinese philosopher Lau Tzu who said, "to lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise, the next, the people fear and the next, the people hate. When the best leader's work is done, the people say: we did it ourselves." If we go just a couple hundred years later to Socrates, the Greek philosopher said, let him, that would move the world first, move himself. So these couple quotes give some perspective on how we're thinking about this here, at least initially, at least in our introduction to this. When Socrates says, if you wanna move the world first, move yourself. That's what we've been working so hard here and learn to share with you and to support in you is how to first move yourself through becoming a better learner, through becoming more capable of succeeding.
We're moving ourselves, we're developing our character, becoming the kinda person that others would want to follow. And so that's what led us to thinking that this would be helpful in supporting you in going even further if you've been following us here and learn to learn that one of the things that we come back to a lot in enhancing learning is recognizing and correcting concepts about ourselves that are limiting. If we think that we're stupid, we're not going to learn well, and certainly other people will pick up on that and not be that interested in following us or participating with us. If we think that there's something wrong with us, we're going to be engaging in a way that reinforces that self-concept. No matter how hard we try, we're going to do things that prove out that concept. In the midst of doing everything right, we're going to do something that is in out picturing of that concept that says, well, there's something wrong with me.
And then inadvertently, unconsciously, we're going to do something that proves that out again and again and again. And so we end up with these inadvertent shortcomings. We start playing out this conditioning that we've had, that we've been programmed to play out, that we've interpreted our experience to mean that we're not enough, that we're going to fail, that there is something wrong. And then once that program has been inserted into our brain, into our unconscious, it's going to insert that into our life. Well, if that's the case, others are certainly going to see that and go, are going be less inclined to engage with us in a meaningful way, in a way that lets us contribute to our world.
So we've done a tremendous amount here about how to change those self-concepts. Again, you can use our search function on the website and find a lot more about that. We've also talked so much about beliefs and self-concept is a type of belief, but it's a belief exclusively about ourselves. There are so many other beliefs about how the world is and what we can expect and how others are going to respond. That also can set us up for failure or for success. If we take a self-concept that says that there's something wrong with me and we change it in some of the ways we've laid out here into I'm someone that can learn from everything that happens and anything that goes wrong just generates further evolution, further learning and makes me a better person, that all that is in my favor, we're going to move forward so much more rapidly and easily and be so much more excited about engaging in life without the fear of, oh, I might make a mistake or I might be misunderstood. Or all goes in a way that lets engage powerfully and readily in our world and with other people and in a way that makes us interesting to others. And that makes us again, excited to participate. It takes the blinders off our future so that we can see the better ways to approach things, the better choices that are out there for us that lets us engage in a creative way that solves problems that we all face and that others in seeing that of course, will also wanna be a part of.
We hear so often these days from kids in grade school, high school, college and well beyond that, their greatest concern is the state of the world. What's going to happen with the environment? What's happening with climate change? What's happening with politics? Is there going to be a world for us to participate in? Am I ever going to be able to afford to buy a house or do some of the things that seem interesting without that sense of a really engaging, compelling future? So many people are like, why should I bother to learn if there's not that kinda future out there for me that is really interesting and exciting? If the world's not the kinda place that I wanna be in, if I think it's all going down the tubes, then why bother to put out all this effort? And then the question becomes so often, what can I do to make a difference?
What can I do to change that? What can I do to make the world a better place? Hence, how do I become a better leader? How do I become somebody that can make a difference? Do I just give up or is there something that we can do? And that's again, part of why we're exploring this here at this time, because this is so fundamental to not only a result of learning, but the motivator for learning. If we can see that yes, there is something I can do, yes, I can become the kind of person that makes a difference. And we have many examples of that these days of students finding a way to engage powerfully in the world that really has an impact. And we could go through the list, but we suspect that those, and what we're proposing is at a minor scale, a large scale, at whatever level that is important to you or interesting to you, you can participate in bringing about those changes in making the world a better place.
So many of the best leaders through history have talked about that leadership to them means service. How do I serve the greater good? How do I serve others? How do I make a difference in a way that is meaningful? And so many of those leaders will say that it turns out that the most fulfilling and satisfying thing that they've done in their life is not all the things that they have or that they've been able to acquire, but the difference that they've been able to make, the service that they've been able to vendor. How do we go beyond our needs? Not in a way that doesn't take into consideration what we need, what is important to us, but it helps to create a world where our most essential needs can be met in a way that are genuinely fulfilling to who we are. Let's take some time to assess ourselves relative to the development of our own leadership capacity.
Let's start with thinking about our vision of what the most ideal, amazing leader would be like and take all the limits off that. It doesn't even have to match what we have seen in the world, although it may well be inspired by somebody that we really look up to or admire or have heard about. However we arrive at that, think about what that most ideal leader would be. And then just for a minute, consider the possibility that the reason we can even conceive of that is because that's somewhere in us. We've so often heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that we can only see what is already somewhere in us. We're approaching this the same way. Whether that's true or not, that's not our question here, but we're going to that leader that we can imagine is somewhere in us that it could be possible.
Then notice where are you relative to that? So let's put this on a scale of let's say one to a hundred, just so we have a way of evaluating and of looking at our current situation, and as we work with that, noticing our progress forward, our progress towards that. If we have a scale of zero to a hundred and a hundred, is that imagined ideal, amazing leader? Where do you sense yourself being? And try and be fair in this. Don't be overly harsh or don't overly exaggerate in the other way. Just what's your sense? We're not concerned about ultimate accuracy. We're just trying to get a sense of where we're, let's say just for the purpose of our discussion here, that it's at 30. What are the qualities that we already have engaged that lets us be at 30 just so that we have somewhat of an accounting of, Hey, this is what I've done so far.
Here are the things that I already recognize in myself that show me that I have made some movement in the direction of being able to have a positive impact or influence on others that I can contribute to the state of things around me. And if it's at 10 or if it's at 20, or if it's at 60, whatever, wherever it is, just notice and notice what are those qualities, attributes, talents, et cetera that you already have. And then we wanna notice what do we imagine that we would have to develop, that we'd have to engage in ourselves to be that leader at a hundred? What's between where we are and where we imagine we could be? If we're at a, what is going to be required to get to be and really take the time to consider this, this is really, really important. This will make a huge difference. And yes, in other podcasts we'll go over various qualities, attributes, understandings, approaches that are necessary to be a good leader in some people's opinions only so that those options are available to you. But ultimately we wanna find what is it in you that can be developed?
And once we have a good sense of that, and that does take some time to get to, so this is something that you can do between now and next week now and the next podcast, once you have come to that, we want you to think about how would I develop that? How would I bring that about? How would I need to change to engage that? And again, as always, the way we think about change is not something that we overlay on ourselves. Oh, I'm not, okay, so I need to take this something from the outside and fit myself into it, but what would I engage in myself? What would I need to recognize in myself so that this will come outta this so that this will emerge in me, so this will be engaged in my life next, as we so often suggest, step into that ideal leader you and see what it's like.
And for sure, there are going to be things in you that may say, no, I can't do that. That's not me. All of that. We all run into that all the time before we up and do the new thing. That's just how it works. No problem. Those objections as they come up, just set them aside and let yourself step in. Really give yourself the permission to use your imagination this way and then check out what that world is like, what that experience is like. What is being this you that is an amazing leader, an amazing co-creator with others?
Notice also, how did they experience you? Step into some of the people around you and notice what's it like to be around you when you've become this and bring those perspectives back into yourself. Now again, so often we'll carry over our present ideas about how the people view us and sort of project those onto people in the future. Set those aside and really notice how people's view of you has transformed. Then look back over the time that elapsed between setting this goal and being in it and look back from being in it just with that curiosity about how did I get here? What did I have to do? How did I bring this about? What happened? And then bring all that back into today with that sense of connecting to that future, hooking up to that future, whether it seems probable or improbable to you.
Hook up to it and have that sense, almost like that future you is pulling you forward to there. This is something that bears repeating again and again. Every time we do it deepens that pathway in us. It sets that in motion and activates those capacities and resources in us sometimes that we don't even know about. That starts moving us in that direction. I would also just encourage you to think about what some of the great leaders through history have gone through. Many of them, probably most of them, have run into various kinds of challenges, hardships. Certainly many of them had no sense that they would ever end up being what they ended up being. Were not saying that's where you need to get at all, but just that sense of if they could do that, then what can you do? You may not want to go to any well known position of leadership.
You may wanna just make a difference in your family amongst your friends in your community. But the pattern process has parallels. And so we look at the people that have done great things that way as encouragement and as a pattern of, oh, if they could do that and they did that this way, what can I draw on of that that will carry me forward to where I wanna be? Where you wanna be? That is a powerful to begin process, future episode, leadership of the more well known ways to think about leadership and how to bring those about. Join us again for that and we'll do it in a way that we make as relevant as possible to your life. Thank you for listening. Our purpose is supporting your capacity to learn and to attain all that you can imagine. We hope you use the perspectives and exercises that we have shared. Feel free to send us questions, ideas, experiences that might benefit our listeners via learn to learn.org, l e a r n dash t o dash l e a r n.org. Finally, please help others by sharing our link with your friends, family, and other loved ones since how you learn is how you live.