Feeding from the trough. Is doing so much leading you to become so much less?

Alt text: Handwritten “To be list” for Thursday 17th October 2019 is: Be connected and give my whole heart, be curious, be creative, be brave, dare to lead (thanks Brene Brown)

Is doing so much leading you to become so much less?

It’s time to “be”!

Over the previous two days I’ve been feeding from the trough and indulging. It’s not about food or wine. I’m talking about feeding my insatiable curiosity for learning new things.

What a luxurious opportunity FuturistixLive!2019 was to connect with great thought leaders, innovative designers and system challenging disruptors. FuturistixLive!2019 was a two day summit for learning professionals – in Melbourne on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October – culminating in an awards show to celebrate the best of the best. There was so much to see and learn. There were plenty of wonderful people to connect with and meet. There were opportunities at every turn.

For me, attending a summit like this used to be a crazy buzz of flitting furiously from one thing to another. 

I was always trying to make the very most of having access to everything and everyone all at once.

Inevitably that meant “filling up” but not “soaking in” as much as I had hoped. I reference Nicole White’s challenge to us to “remember the forgetting curve” here. For once Nicole, I remembered! This time around I took a different approach to the summit from the beginning. I paused to reflect about each thing I attended. I really took things in. I stopped racing and started remembering more. And little did I know by doing this I would also be embodying three of Cameron Schwab’s powerful messages:

  • Get rid of “To do” lists, move to “To know” lists, and eventually these will become your “To be” lists.
  • You can’t go forward if you can’t go deep.
  • Leading is not doing, leading is being.

Let me adapt the third one for this purpose to: 

Learning is not doing, learning is being.

So, I went along to Cameron Schwab’s keynote presentation at the beginning of day two of FuturistixLive! with no expectation or agenda other than readiness to be present. I sat in my discomfort and let myself “be” during his presentation. Oh my goodness, I am so glad I did. I felt it. I enjoyed it! I even experienced a tear trickle down my cheek, and I sat there for many minutes after he had finished, absorbing what it all meant. In those minutes I remembered the real reasons why I do what I do.

I reflected on the meaning of purpose and sat surrounded by the thoughts and things that really matter to me.

As I did that, I wrote down three reflections:

  1. The latest digital and technical offerings mean little if all users can’t experience and access them.
  2. Smart systems are dumb systems and a waste of time and money if leaders and learners aren’t engaged with or within them.
  3. People will not connect with learning if the learning doesn’t speak to them on a personal level.

While these three pearls of wisdom are far from profound or new, they are simply personally relevant to my here and now. They are interconnected. They speak about my values.

Ultimately, they reflect the overarching lesson I learned yesterday, which was to remember to embrace my core values and let those values guide my every day. I need to remember to “be”.

Today I started by writing down what I wanted to “be” before I did anything else.

My list read: 

  • Be curious
  • Be inclusive
  • Be creative
  • Be brave
  • Dare to lead (thanks Brene Brown)
  • Be connected and give my whole heart

This was the best FuturistixLive! summit ever!

I welcome your comments on what it means to “be”. Feel free to connect with me and share your to “be” list too.