Friday, September 28, 2007

First reaction to Deeper Learning in Leadership

I just had a particularly exhilirating moment - the first conversation with someone who's read Deeper Learning in Leadership. It was a Washington University staff member who was looking for ways to both broaden and deepen the leadership learning opportunities for Wash U. students. She contacted me last week to set up a conference call; I told her that she might want to order the book, read it, and then give me a call. Interestingly enough, Deeper Learning in Leadership had arrived earlier the same day and she was ready to start reading.

I know it may seem that I was a little self-absorbed to be so interested in someone else's reactions to what I've written but I couldn't help myself. I was extremely gratified when her two first reactions were being overwhelmed by the possibilities while being relieved by my message that all we have to do is start somewhere, don't sweat the small stuff, learn from what we do, and approach the opportunities of leadership learning as a journey in discovery.

I hope that Deeper Learning in Leadership serves as a summary and a catalyst for more substantive work. I also desperately hope that it reminds us that sometimes our organizational models don't serve us well. If we really want to reach students, we may need to look at ourselves at the same time - critically analyzing our way of approaching each other and the way we foster learning in students.

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