Knowing yourself, like we’ve seen previously is very important, but the pieces of the puzzles would not fit completely if one would only by preoccupied with thyself. That is where your environment comes. People either learn through maintenance or shock but the best way of learning according to Bennis is through innovative learning. You will learn to trust yourself and shape events instead of being shaped by them.
“In innovative learning one must not only recognize existing contexts, but be capable of imagining future contexts”. Creativity, therefore, plays an important role in the developmental curve of a leader and helps create a vision. You have to forget about the status quo established through maintenance & shock learning and become autonome. You have to free yourself from the constraints of the past and move into the world, into the future, have perspective to appreciate your vision and realize it to the full extent. However, you have to fill gaps left in your education by reading and thinking. Don’t be afraid to be different, to be yourself. This is better said than done, but I believe it is a reachable goal.
I like the idea of travelling to broaden your experiences, as it is more than true. When you stay on one place you are static and can’t have a full picture. “The stranger in a strange land sees more and sees fresh”. I still remember my first real contact when I came to the USA and how bizarre so many things looked and felt to me; still feel strange and out of place sometimes. I’ve been touched by the culture; I’ve had experiences that have changed my perspective of thing but I’m still able to see, smell things differently and have kept my individuality regardless of the “you’re so strange, so different” looks I still get.
Meeting people and going to suffering help you embrace the world. We learn from the past and our experiences. This takes us to chapter 5 operating on instincts.