“Initiating is really and truly difficult, and that’s what leaders do. They see something others are ignoring and they jump on it. They cause the events that others have to react to. They make change.” (Tribes: We need you to lead us by Seth Godin)
There is scientific proof that our learning takes place on the job in the approximate percentages:
- 55-70% you learn from others: co-workers or your manager
- 20-25% you learn by searching for the answer yourself
- 10-20% you learn from formalized courses
In light of this:
- What are the next steps you should take?
- Who should you ask for help?
- How do you actually apply the things you’ve learned in this post?
The answer is simple: Join a Community.
More importantly join a community of learners and those who have learned just a little bit more than you.
The community I’m going to recommend to you is our community of Upskilers at: http://community.upskillcreate.com
Two types of Mentors
What is the difference between a guru and a sherpa?
A Guru is a transcendent individual who brings enlightenment to their followers. They share spiritual insights and wisdom that inspire you to live at a higher plane of existence. They sit on the mountain top, waiting for their followers to show up and bring them gifts of appreciation. Inspiring? Yes! Practical? Not so much!
A Sherpa is a trained individual who is there to help you carry your load. They provide encouragement and direction to help you make it to the mountaintop. They are experts at what they do, because they’ve done it before! Do you feel inspired when you make it to the top? Yes! Are you thankful for the practical help the sherpas gave you? ABSOLUTELY!
So, who would you rather get assistance from? I’m guessing help from the Sherpa, because no matter how awesome it would be to just get the answers you are looking for from a Guru, this totally ignores the great benefits from taking part in the struggle to learn. The thrill of overcoming mental blocks when acquiring new learning can only be achieved by putting in the effort.
And sherpas take all forms and have all levels of learning. They will help you as far as they can go, but all along the way they share with you their tips and tricks that they have learned.
My Mountain Top
Now, I’ve never been on a strenuous hike up a mountain of epic proportions, but I have journeyed up the 1,349 steps up the steep climb of the Hakarimata Summit with a climb of 335 meters or 1,100 feet. Believe me it burns your legs! They also have fun quotes strategically placed on the stairs of the climb. My favorite – “Sweat is just fat crying!”. And, just like a Sherpa, I can give you some tips:
- Give yourself about an hour to make it up
- Take frequent breaks
- Enjoy the views strategically placed
- Take a water bottle and hydrate!
- Be prepared to sweat!
- Make sure to bring a camera, especially for the scenic 360 degree views on the Summit Tower at the top.
So, yeah I’ve been up and down several times, but it’s still physically challenging for me. And, if we hiked up together, I could encourage you to push through and show you where the markers are on the steps to tell you how many steps you’ve climbed so far, but it’s still something we’d do together!
This was a difficult hike and I did listen to audiobooks on the way up and down. Much easier to concentrate on the audiobooks on the way down, although harder on my knees!
As you may or may not know, New Zealand has the most successful professional sports franchise in history. This professional team has a winning percentage of 77% over it’s 114 year history and 566 Tests (games).
What is the secret to their success? After reading several articles on the subject it involves 3 things:
- All males in New Zealand play Rugby starting at a young age. With a population of just 4 million people and half of those being male, that still is a pool of 2 million to play their national sport. There is also an athletic culture in New Zealand where athleticism is prized by the society, so that helps motivate athletes to stay in top physical condition.
- Psychological training includes being present in the “Now” when on the field. This is also called “Flow” or the “Zone”. This philosophy as promoted by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is essential for peak performance in athletes. The Flow is where athletes almost lose sense of time as their training takes over during moments of competition.
- Teamwork with assigned roles is the third thing that I noticed about Rugby. There are definite positions as defined by the very numbers on the players backs. You can look up Youtube videos which can explain to you the numbers 1-15 and what their position entails. But these component parts of the team represented by individuals of all shapes and sizes, contributes to the need to work together to be successful.
One more thing, prior to the beginning of each Rugby Test, the New Zealand team puts on a very impressive and intimidating “Haka”. My words can’t do it justice so check it out on Youtube – search for “All Blacks Haka”.
Do you have a Tribe?
In the book, “Tribes: We need you to lead us”, by Seth Godin, he talks about the idea that it’s far better to lead a group of committed followers than have a massive following of uncommitted followers. And, often the way you engender that following is by being a fanatical, front of the pack leader who is committed to the success of everyone in the tribe.
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” (Tribes: We need you to lead us, Seth Godin)
The leader of a tribe is more like a facilitator or as we are called in our Upskiller Community, we are hosts. We also have ambassadors who help invite others into the community (Bronze = 2 members invited, Silver = 10 members invited, and Gold = 25 members invited).
But, regardless of your title of host, ambassador or member, we are all in it together. We are all learners sharing what we’ve learned, where and how to get credentialed, tips on how to get a digital badge, what free resources are available, what job opportunities are out there, etc.
And, we are committed to the idea of Learning, Creating and Sharing.
“Real leaders don’t care [about receiving credit]. If it’s about your mission, about spreading the faith, about seeing something happen, not only do you not care about credit, you actually want other people to take credit…There’s no record of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi whining about credit. Credit isn’t the point. Change is.” (Tribes: We need you to lead us by Seth Godin)
If you look at our community, when I posed the question: “What do you want to get from this community?”, I got answers like:
- “share my knowledge to everyone in the community in the case it might help to push people forward in their profession or project. I’ve got a lot of expertise in such subjects like Blockchain or agile development. There are also some no-IT subjects like cycling where i can be a good listener.” (Oliver)
- “I will be happy to share my experience. I have built team of 22 experts in software discovery and licensing.” (Ludmilla)
- “I hope to learn new things, share my knowledge and collaborate with the community members.” (David)
- “share experience, stimulate ideas, invite connection.” (Vicki)
Share, Stimulate, Invite
I like Vicki’s comment about “share, stimulate, invite”. And, just like in the Problem solved section mentioned above, the first thing you need to do is “Join”. Let’s flesh these four out a bit further:
Join – we won’t bite! We need you just as much as you need us! But, please don’t join if you just want to be a lurker. We need your active participation. And, remember there are no dumb questions or comments. Whether you are new to digital badges or online courses, doesn’t matter. Because the truth is — we were all new once! You may even ask a question as a beginner that we haven’t considered for awhile or maybe have never even asked ourselves.
Share – please do share. Each one of the 10 topics has a place for you to post. You can just post a question or observation. You can write a more in-depth article. You can comment on someone else’s post. We need your input and can I make a request? Can you share something every day? No matter how small, it will be meaningful to someone in the community.
Stimulate – as you get experience sharing and based on other community members feedback, you’ll learn how to create more stimulating posts. Often times stimulating posts begin with a question. Good stimulating questions include:
- Where is the best place to … (get free courses, learn how to write a book, host a podcast, etc.) ?
- Who in the community can help me with… (recording a video, writing a blog)?
- Where can I find a … (job opportunity, mentor on blockchain) ?
Invite – as mentioned earlier, we do have an ambassador program for people who have invited other members to join the community. This is the greatest compliment our community can receive when the community is deemed valuable enough that other members want to invite their connections in to participate.
Serendipity – how to get more out of your Weak Links
So, which would you prefer? A Guru or a Sherpa? A Guru has a network built up of one-to-many relationships. A Sherpa has a network of many-to-many relationships.
There is a principle called Serendipity which happens when weak links in a social network connect to create some amazing interactions. Friends of friends of friends can often bring better synergy than someone who you’ve known for years.
These serendipitous relationships are difficult in a Guru relationship, because everyone gets locked into Groupthink with the one leaders direction, thoughts and teachings.
When everyone is allowed to participate with diverse points of view, great innovations can happen.
Will you come join our group of Sherpas? We’re actually known as Upskillers, and like Sherpas we’re all in this together to as Vicki put it: “Share, Stimulate and Invite”.
BONUS: If you like this article you might also like: “Frank or George?”
Join our community of Continuous Learners who want to make time for learning and encourage others to reach their goals.
Upskill Create is all about creating a lifestyle of continuous learning and then applying what you have learned to secure your future and create a life you love.
We offer an engaging private community of fellow “Upskillers” to provide an environment where we can learn, collaborate and encourage each other in this journey. You can request an invitation to join this FREE community at the bottom of this post.
I hope you will join me,