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The Tortoise, The Hare & The… Flower

March 25, 2010

As mentioned in a previous blog, my family and I just came back from an amazing skiing vacation where my 3 kids learned to ski for the very first time.  Watching them grow up is like a Masters degree in understanding more about people, how we perform, lead, learn, and just generally provides a lot of insight into high performing individuals. 

Each of my kids evolved quite differently over the week although they each transformed into a much better skier.

The Tortoise, The Hare & The Flower?

One son was like the proverfial Hare, who had a lot of natural talent who took to skiing immediately and with an almost eery ability.  His growth slowed though after the initial leap forward.

Another son was more like the Tortoise.  He didn’t have the natural talent or an innate understanding of it.  He needed to concentrate on the skill and worked each moment to get better… and did, each day.

And, finally, our other son was really more of a flower… a late bloomer in fact.  He participated.  He went through the process with no real discernable, or certainly not rapid, growth.  But, at the end, when put to a challenge on the finally day of “The Big Hill”, he rose to the occassion.  He showed that he had picked up skills along the way and was doing remarkably well for his age and where he started.

So, the moral of the story… well, we don’t generally compare our kids but there is an illustrative lesson here.  All three kids started with nothing.  And, all three progressed to make their parents proud.  But, they did it in their own way and on their own terms.  And, this leads to something that everyone can learn.  Not just that people have different learning styles, or that there are many ways to win one’s own race.  Something that I believe is more important.  You need to know and understand your own learning style.  Are you a Hare, a Tortoise or a Flower, or perhaps something else… Aardvark?  And, that you may have a different learning style for different things. 

Knowing this about yourself will allow you to excel and to explore your boundaries more personally and more professionally.  And, with this new take on an old story, we can now celebrate all the participants in the race.

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