During my first trip to England I was able to spend a great bit of time with people who had lived in England most of their lives. They were able to share things about their life, the culture there, and we had great conversations about the similarities and differences between my life in the United Stated and theirs.
One of the things that I really caught my attention was how their language was different and in particular one word sticks with me – brilliant.
As I explained to someone what I did in the states she said, “brilliant.” It took me a few seconds to realize she was not calling me brilliant – she was not complimenting me on my brilliant coaching and consulting skills and she wasn’t calling me a brilliant church consultant. To say the least I was disappointed but I soon caught on to how use and meaning of the word brilliant is different across the pond.
Using “brilliant” to describe a new thought or idea I have has quickly become somewhat of a humorous commentary during team meetings. Whenever I hear of something new I think we should be doing in our organization, I learn all I can about it, implement it, and teach it back to the team – they in turn call me brilliant. (sometimes I don’t think they really get as much out of hearing this as I do) But it has become quite the joke around the office.
I was thinking about being “brilliant” as I worked to put some finishing touches on a publishing schedule to begin publishing and promoting ebooks, articles, and white papers for free through various online outlets. I was thinking about how just a few months ago I knew nothing about how to publish a book and certainly didn’t know anything about how to publish something online. I was thinking I indeed was brilliant. Then it hit me – I am not brilliant (although my team can still call me that), I am just an enthusiastic learner.
I love to learn, apply what I learn, and share it with others. It may seem brilliant but in reality it’s just my desire and passion to keep sharpening the saw as Steven Covey calls it. I like to continuously be on the path that takes me to where I must – I need – to be learning new things. I don’t do it because I am brilliant, I do it because I desire to be an enthusiastic learner.
I think this applies a great deal to how we handle challenges, seek out solutions to solve problems, and desire to make the most of any every set of circumstances. I think being an enthusiastic learning is a great key to successful leadership.
So what are you enthusiastic learner in or about?
What makes people look at you after you tell them what you’ve been up to, and say, “brilliant!”?