There is something to learn from everything and everybody and those leaders who learn the most are those who are humble enough to learn from what others believe there is little to learn from.
Unfortunately, many of us never learn everything we can learn because we overestimate what we believe we already know.
You might have heard the well-known Indian parable about the six blind-men who argue to exhaustion around what an elephant is. Each of them have a very different idea and argue all night. One holds the trunk and says an elephant is like a snake. Another feels the ear and argues the elephant is like a fan. And another places his hand upon one of the elephants legs and describes it as being like a tree-trunk. And so forth and so on around the group they go.
Each man in his arrogance severely overestimates what he actually knows. This results in all of the men disregarding what others know while continuing to stubbornly hold on to what they actually know very little about.
Humble and learned leaders understand that there is much to still learn. They listen carefully, are open to new ideas and appreciate diverse opinions.
Research conducted by Tenelle Porter, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at the University of California, Davis showed that adults are more likely to learn from those they disagree than those they agree with if they are engaged in listening to what is being said.
The difference between humble learned leaders and arrogant leaders is simply in what and who they believe they can learn from.
T.D. Jakes, an American Pastor once said:
“The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.”
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