As I continue my series this month on learning, I started to think about who my teachers are. In my youth this was an easy question to answer. My teachers were the people in front of the class room every day. Once we leave the school setting though, it becomes more complex. No longer is the idea of teacher quite so permanent or proscribed. Instead, information becomes something we much choose to seek and absorb. Those of us who believe in the idea of life long learning know that the wonder of learning outside of school is that we can follow our innate curiosity and seek out an infinite number of sources to tune into and learn from. Of course, it doesn’t really work that way. In reality (at least for me) I end up going back time after time and listening to some of the same people. Here is a short list of people that always seem to teach me something.
Chris Brogan – A high profile blogger, Chris Brogan manages to be simultaneously extraordinarily inspirational and unflappably human. He manages to set an amazing example of how to innovate online in a very public way with an almost disarming honesty.
Angie Segal – In a world where everyone calls themselves a coach, it is easy to eschew the value of coaching. Then you run across a real person who really knows what they are doing and you must kick aside your prejudices. When I spend time with Angie (unlike Seth and Chris she is a real contact) I frequently wish I recorded my life so I could listen to her common sense yet keenly aware advice over and over.
Melanie Spring – I am on record as saying that when Spring Insight grows up, it wants to be Sisarina, the company headed by Melanie (another real contact). Melanie has a way of teaching not through words but by example that can’t be overstated. The energy she brings to every day is an inspiration and a challenge for those of us she teaches.
Seth Godin – Prolific author and blogger Seth Godin has a way of weaving common sense with a notion of our place in the universe that puts a perspective on common issues. Whenever I read his blog posts I feel just a bit smarter than I really am.
I share this list for two reasons. First, because I think these are some pretty darn awesome teachers and people to listen for. Second, because I think it is important to think about our teachers and access them on a periodic basis. Are my teachers people that are leading me in the direction I want to go? Are they appropriate for where I am with my life, with my business right now? Are yours?