Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lessons Learned vs Lessons Earned

Another leadership axiom, very much based on where I'm at right now.

Lessons Learned vs Lessons Earned

Lessons learned are those that people give to you. The ones where you receive wisdom from those who seek to guide you. Be that family, friends, colleagues, managers, pastors etc. Often refined to a set of rules, of procedures, or theologies (or even axioms...)

Lessons earned are something altogether different. Lessons earned are precious expressions of pain, joy, effort and experience. They rarely seem to come easily, but for all that they are irreplaceable. They usually become a part of you, so much so that you don't even realise it and often they make your decisions for you.

So treasure those lessons but remember this warning: Not all lessons earned are good ones, especially those learned through abuse of people or systems. They require grace to combat them. These are the lessons that have to be unlearned; no easy task if they've taken year to soak in .

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