Think of life as just a long string of learning opportunities. Individuals learn and grow through all stages of life, experiences building upon experiences. Humans are simply a culmination of what they have learned and experienced from birth until death.
Learning derives from experience. When someone fails an exam in school, the lesson learned is that more effective preparation is required. Miscues in a relationship can provide valuable insight on how to handle challenging situations later on. People get fired from jobs, and can learn from their actions. Thinking and planning can help to minimize the chances of failures, but at some point, something will fail. Errors happen, and wise individuals will learn and grow from them. Individuals will learn and grow in some capacity, regardless of what their desires are. Life will spark change and growth.
Human are observant by nature. Children mimic parents and family, modeling actions on observed behavior. Parents set examples for their children, demonstrating behavior for different situations. Throughout life, people learn from others just as much as from direct life experiences.
Individuals seek out role models they admire and seek to learn from their examples, mirroring their behavior. Study patterns of behavior from others and learn from them. Seek out those who have failings and learn about them also. Not all people are respected and ethical. Corrupted and self-serving people are out there in abundance, and wise people will seek to learn from these examples with equal enthusiasm as from those they admire.
Positive Leadership Models
A quick browse through the book store contains many historical and current leadership gurus that are well-respected in their respective fields. Authors have documented the leadership examples from historical figures such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and countless document leadership examples ranging from current corporate CEOs, sports figures, and scientists.
Wise people will learn from these examples. Insight from these individuals can prove valuable in life and profession. Many of these principles are long established and widely accepted. Leading by example, allowing others to grow, setting the example for others to follow are timeless. Modeling accepted, positive behavior is an avenue for success.
Negative Leadership Models
Learning what not to do is just as valuable as what to do. Most people worked in a toxic environment at one point in their life. Perhaps the organization skirted rules and regulations, or put profit ahead of sound ethical principles. Many people experienced working with a bad boss, or interact with toxic family or friends at some point.
These individuals may be selfish, use others, treat other poorly, put greed ahead of being responsible, the list goes on. These types of individuals may defer blame to others, gossip about others, lie, cheat, or steal. They may be friends or co-workers. Interacting with these people will not be satisfying and pleasing, but they can provide valuable lessons. These individuals can succeed and become high ranking corporate executives, or politicians.
Do not ignore a learning example or opportunity. Seek the nature of the opportunity, and take the lesson to heart. Read and study positive examples, and apply the lessons for an enriched and positive life. As in science, what did not work is important. When experiencing poor examples, peel back the layers and study the lesson. Observe and study at every opportunity.
Move through life with a mindset for learning at all opportunities. Those who do so will have many more opportunities for growth, and in the end can leave an enduring legacy for those around them.