It’s always fantastic when a blog post inspires a reader to take action on an idea. An email I received from reader John Bennett, a University of Connecticut Emeritus Professor and scholar of learning, contained a fantastic example of this. John is a great proponent and sharer of Brainzooming content, and you can find him on Twitter at @jcbjr.

In the email, John shared his personal strategic tapestry list, picking up on an idea suggested in a couple of Brainzooming posts. The idea is we should all be continually adding to our strategic influences and lessons in a way that makes the whole collection not only unique to each of us, but resistant to being thrown over by a new idea in the latest new business book. I was incredibly honored to be included on John’s list, but even if I hadn’t, I’d want to share it with all of you as further inspiration to reflect on your personal strategic tapestry. John agreed to share his list with all of you, so here it is!

My Personal Strategic Tapestry by Professor John Bennett

John-Bennett-PhotoAfter being introduced to the notion of a personal strategic tapestry, I organized my own with regard to Effective Learning.  It's quite exciting that as I assembled the quotations, I understood more deeply my strategic position on effective learning which just sort of bubbled to the surface during the process:

  • "In short, you can control us, or you can engage us. But you have to choose which you want, because you can never have both." (Ted Coiné, Switch and Shift)
  • "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." (Albert Einstein)
  • "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." (Albert Einstein)
  • "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." (Albert Einstein)
  • "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
  • "There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles." (Stephen Covey)
  • "Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall." (Stephen Covey)
  • "Learn from the mistakes of others; you can't live long enough to make them all yourself." (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • "If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try." (Seth Godin)
  • "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a we model that makes the existing model obsolete." (Buckminster Fuller)
  • "The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." (Alexandra K. Trenfor)
  • "It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are." (Roy E. Disney)
  • "Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think." (Albert Einstein)
  • "Learning never exhausts the mind." (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change." (Stephen Hawking)
  • "Don't let school interfere with your education." (Mark Twain)
  • "You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing about the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's what counts." (Richard P. Feynman)
  • "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." (Albert Einstein)
  • "You cannot teach a [person] anything; you can only help [her/him] find it within themself." (Galileo Galilei)
  • "One thing is for certain: the more profoundly baffled you have been in your life, the more open your mind becomes to new ideas." (Neil deGrasse Tyson)
  • "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." (Henry Ford)
  • "Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts." (Albert Einstein)
  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." (Aristotle)
  • "You can't TRY to do things, you must simply DO them." (Ray Bradbury)
  • "If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something." (Neil Gaiman)
  • "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." (Socrates)
  • "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." (Roger Lewin)
  • "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it’s stupid." (Albert Einstein)
  • "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the ardor I work, the more I have do it." (Thomas Jefferson)
  • "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." (John Quincy Adams)
  • "Constant testing will no more address the problems with our education system than constantly putting an overweight person on the scale will cure obesity." (Anna Quindlen)
  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the works. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead)
  • "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." (Henry Ford)
  • "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." (Maya Angelou)
  • "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." (Steve Jobs)
  • "Curiosity is the engine of achievement." (Sir Ken Robinson)
  • "If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." (Henry Ford)
  • "A leader should say what he or she thinks only after the people who work for the leader share what they think." (Greg Reid)
  • "Often (maybe “almost always”) compromising on creative ideas leads to something nobody likes, recognizes, or thinks satisfies the original objective. Being able to dissect ideas to pull out highlights and put them together as something new, however, is entirely different, and a great skill to have." (Mike Brown, Brainzoomimg)
  • "Don’t decide for another person why you think they will say, 'No.'" (Bernie Brown)

I plan to further organize and expand the tapestry with more quotations after further consideration.  But in creating it, I must say, first impressions are that indeed my strategic thinking is very much influenced / aligned with this tapestry. – John Bennett 


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