This is our family cat, Chicago. We rescued him years ago as a sickly kitten and he’s grown into a big ‘ol feline with “cat – onality to spare. As he watches me clean his litter, fetch his toys and pick up his random “Good morning!” hairballs, I’m sure he has no idea how much he contributes to a successful professional development career. I submit the following learning and development nuggets of wisdom gleaned from owning a cat.
Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to have terrific mentors show me different ways to develop and coach leadership skills. Here are a few of my favorite shared nuggets of wisdom, shared by various people throughout my life.
Do you remember how you felt the last time you demonstrated you knew how to do something and showed it to someone you cared about? You might have become an expert with new software at work and had to show your peers. Maybe you aced a test in a difficult class. Heck, even if you can now set the microwave clock in front of your spouse with having to google it first, didn’t it feel good? That’s the love of learning.
Steve Martin once responded to a drunk heckler, “Ah, I remember my first beer.” I wonder if he remembers his first heckle as well. I sure do. My first serious one, that is. I was much younger, in a sales presentation exploring the virtues of “Value versus Price.” Although I’d been a successful salesperson for years and had done a version of this session a few times, an experienced attendee Just. Wasn’t. Having. It. They were loud. They were disruptive. They were convinced and challenged every concept I presented.