Who's On Your Learning Team?

Earlier this year, I delivered the keynote address to the graduates of Seton Hall University’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication & Leadership (MASCL) program.   What you need to know about these students/mid-to-senior level executives is that they braved this program, not just an individuals, but as a learning team.  They declared victory together!  Here’s an assertion I shared with them:

“…the most valuable learning you had in this program didn’t come from one of your instructor’s posts or lectures; it didn’t come from the writings of Kouzes & Posner or Peter Senge; in fact, it didn’t come from WHAT you learned at all – it came from HOW you learned – that’s the most enduring lesson.

“You learned how to learn together. It’s quintessential peer advantage.  Think about it. Over time, facts can become irrelevant, theories outdated. Since we live in a world where we contemplate a future we barely can imagine, having the ability to work and learn with others is where the real enduring value lies.”

I’m not sure there has ever been a time in human history where people have had to work so hard just to keep up.  The challenge is that while we’re trying to handle what’s in front of us, we also have no choice but to prepare ourselves for what’s next.

Who is helping you do that?

Whether want to run a marathon or run a company, your learning team will keep you abreast of what’s next and help you cross the finish line.  The good news is you don’t have to enter a graduate program to find one. You just have to do three things:

  1. Set goals for yourself
  2. Identify and enlist people who share your passion and a desire to learn
  3. Invest time in each other’s success

You can join a peer group or start a learning team of your own.  If you’ve never experienced it, you may not know what you’re missing.  So I invite you to ask anyone who’s ever been part of a high-performing group or learning team.  They’ll tell you a simple truth about success, no matter how you define it:

Who you surround yourself with matters. 



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