Value the Process

art of leadership daily growth growth how far can you go leadership leadership growth the art of learning leadership Aug 29, 2023

The first fundamental lesson in Josh Waitzkin’s book, The Art of Learning, is to Value the Process.  If you’ve been following here you may have read my (Cindy) last blog, Outside Growth, Inside Growth and remember that in his book Josh offers some foundational principles we can apply to The Art of Leadership Learning.

At 9 years old, Josh became a World Class Champion Chess Player, then as a young man he became the 2004 World Champion in Tai Chi Chuan martial arts. He has a fascinating story and shares the fundamental lessons he learned along the way.

The Art of Learning can be a successful venture when you embrace learning- unlearning- and relearning, which is the Cycle of Success. 

Josh valued the process in learning, unlearning, and re-learning to become a world champion at a young age in two separate skill sets. 

He credits much of that to understanding everything is a process.  The Law of process says, Leadership develops daily, not in a day.

This means we have to invest in our leadership.  It’s a process.  I think one of the biggest mistakes we can make as leaders is thinking the process is the work, and we miss the primary component which is developing.

Why are so many individuals in leadership positions yet they are not leading?  At best they are managing their role each day but there’s no real development. Unless we develop our leadership from the experiences we have, our leadership remains unchanged.  We may have seen a lot and learned even more but we only develop if we change. 

Let’s look at it this way:

The definition of manage in the Oxford Dictionary is to be in charge of, undertake, run, direct, control, even survive!

The definition of develop is to grow, evolve, mature, expand, enlarge, spread, advance.

In knowing leadership develops daily, not in a day.  We develop as leaders if we evaluate where we need to grow our leadership skills on a daily basis and make sure we are putting the right things in our mind to accomplish that.

Beware of this, sometimes we learn the lesson and expect everything to be different because we just learned something or our people just learned something.  Unless we each develop (remember that means to grow, change, become more) and apply what we learned, we are not valuing the process or we are not remembering to value the process.

Everyday, we should ask ourselves, how am I valuing the process? 

When we develop our people we must remember this is a process.  It’s never one and done.  We don’t learn something today and trade it in for something tomorrow.  This is where MOST organizations miss it!

Leaders can get focused on checking the next thing off the list.  We are doers and we have to get results. What we have to make sure is that we don’t get destination disease.  Leadership should not be how much can I do, but how far can we go as a team and as an organization.

Remember to evaluate your experiences along the way. Learning is more effective when you revisit it tomorrow.  Experience is not the best teacher, but evaluated experience is the best teacher.  The value is in the process not in the accomplishment. Not in the checked box or in the papers proving you attended something.