Fishing, leadership and the realities of education
Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach someone to fish, feed them for a lifetime. This is ancient wisdom. As we nod our heads in appreciation of this wisdom we would be well served to recognise why this wisdom is so rarely put into practice.
The reality is that it is much, much cheaper to give someone a fish than it is to teach them how to fish well enough to regularly feed themselves through fishing. Further, the trainee fisherman (or woman) must then buy and maintain their own equipment as well investing significant amounts of time and energy into actually catching the fish. We can summarize this reality as follows:
Receive a fish
· Dependent on the supplier and ability to purchase fish
Learn how to fish and then go fishing yourself
· Slow; you have to go out and actually catch a fish!
· It takes a long time to learn
· Difficult to master to a level at which you can feed yourself every day
· Expensive to buy and maintain your own gear
· Empowers you to feed yourself and be relatively more independent
Thus, the real question is ‘who can afford to pay the time, effort and money to learn how to fish?’ Let us imagine you want to learn how to fish, who will pay for you? Will you pay for yourself? What if you cannot afford to pay for yourself? These questions bring us to the reality of education. It is usually expensive and takes a long time.
How does this apply to education, learning and leadership? Traditional leadership programs are slow, lengthy, difficult to enter/access and expensive. The reality is that most people do not want to go on extensive leadership courses in the same way they don’t want to go on extensive fishing courses. In the same way that most people just want the fish and then get on with their lives, most people just want to learn the basic principles of leadership and get on with their work. I am not saying that building deep mastery by participating in long and expensive programs is not beneficial, I am challenging the cost-benefit analysis.
I believe that to equip 21st Century leaders with the skills and training they need, they must be able to access top quality courses that provide instant access to the best learning, a fast learning journey that is easy to master and therefore allows for rapid progress and, above all, the learning has to be affordable. To continue the metaphor, there is no point saying to someone ‘you need to learn to fish but it will cost you $10,000+!’ To be effective in the modern workplace people to learn how to lead but most people cannot afford to spend $10,000+ on educating themselves on learning how to lead and most employers are reluctant to invest in staff who might leave in a few months/years.
What is needed is a new way of empowering people to learn how to lead. It is crucial that there is no compromise on the quality of the learning as you only ever want to learn from the best (why would you learn from the averagely skilled?) yet the training must be also be accessible and affordable. This is why I have built our online 21st Century leadership training program (www.adepicosonline.com) and it represents our commitment to providing world-class 21st Century leadership training to all people. To use a fancy phrase, it is our tool for democratising leadership and building a new generation of authentic and high-performing leaders.
I believe this program presents the best value proposition in the world for leadership training. It provides a comprehensive, world-class learning journey that enables rapid mastery and can be instantly accessed from anywhere with any internet-enabled device. Best of all, it is affordable. You will not find a better program for a better price.
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