Leaders Are Learners

I watch Charlie Rose on PBS. He has a wide range of guests – business, politics, arts, sports – you name it.

Since I travel a good bit, I record the shows and catch up as I can.

Recently, I watched two shows. One guest was Sean Foley, who coaches golfing great Tiger Woods. Another guest was Alan Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve.

During the interview, Foley was talking about how Woods manages a golf course. Woods is known for his ability to create shots in unique circumstances. Foley made this comment: “I think Tiger Woods learns something new in every round he plays.”

Greenspan, who is 86, was on to promote a book that has just been released. The book describes a study he undertook recently to examine how understanding human nature and risk affects our ability to forecast the future. His comment about the effort: “I can’t believe how much I learned.”

Woods is a golfing prodigy. His dad put a golf club in his hands shortly after his first birthday. The game has been his passion ever since. Millions of golf shots struck. Thousands of golf rounds played. Hundreds of tournaments won.

Greenspan was the most powerful economist in the world. Had access to all the big financial thinkers and the world’s leaders. Made important decisions that impacted the world’s economies.

Both men have reached pinnacles that most of us wouldn’t dream about. Yet, Woods learns something in every round he plays and Greenspan can embark on a study in his mid-80s that advances his understanding.

Reminds me that leaders are learners. If your goal is to make a difference, you will endeavor to advance your learning. Woods and Greenspan are examples to us all.