We sometimes present learning as a narrative: a journey with a starting point (here, in our ignorance) and an end point (over there, basking in enlightenment). We measure ‘progress’ and seek insight by staring into the distance.
Perhaps our own development is a journey, but equally it may be the destination that we already stand upon.
I love to talk about learning journeys, exploration, and the idea of landscapes that we inhabit, but i also recognise the potential weakness of this language: the sense that learning carries us forward, out of yesterday, into tomorrow. Maybe sometimes it does, but maybe sometimes it simply lets us look at the view we already have, through different eyes.
In my broader work on Social Leadership, i start with ‘curation’: to choose your space. The notion here is that we are ‘given’ one type of space, but we can choose another. Your formal power gives you one version of ‘self’, and your Social Authority and Reputation earn you another.
I represent Social Leadership as a circle to counter the idea of it being a discrete development: we do not learn to ‘become’ a Social Leader, so much as learn how to be a Social Leader today, and to relearn it tomorrow.
Because our Social Authority is so contextual, and indeed because the context of leadership itself is shifting so fast in our dynamic and interconnected reality of the Social Age, our specific skill is not so much staring ahead as looking into the right here and now.