“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour; …
…Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages”
As Nichola would say – “Slightly on the weird index” – but hey, once an English teacher, always an English teacher!
Chaucer’s opening to The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales comes back to me as I catch the first blushes of spring in the hedgerows. The lines, first encountered almost forty years ago, have stuck with me as an echo from school days, but also as a catalyst for fresh thinking as spring awakens with fresh growth and vitality.
At Leonedu – John, Nichola and I – see ourselves as lifelong learners, and in recent weeks, I’ve experienced fresh thinking on growth mindset in Coach Meet sessions with inspirational leaders; listening to podcasts with Kul Mahay on Human Centred Leadership.
And from Steve Rush’s podcast – The Leadership Hacker. In Episode 45, Steve Rush welcomes guest Elke Edwards, author of one of our favourite reads – ‘Extraordinary: How to Lead a Bigger, Braver, More Meaningful Life’.
Sharing insights from her own experience, Elke develops the concept of growth mindset to identify the characteristics of a ‘courageous learner’. It’s an idea Nichola and I have also been exploring in our leadership and coach training sessions. To be a courageous learner, we need to sit ‘above the line’, listening with the intention to learn, rather than to rebuff or refute; to hold a curious mindset and the belief that the thinking of others can ignite and enrich our own thinking. Courageous learners let go of the need to be right.
With sizzling satire, Chaucer exposes a bit of ‘below the line’ thinking in his motley band of pilgrims. As a community of life-long learners, how can we plot a more courageous pathway for learning this Spring?