By William Seidman In order to become self-directed, potential leaders must overcome the years of socialization that made them passive learners. They must experience what psychologists call an “unfreeze” that challenges them to reexamine their habits, which opens them to the possibility of thinking and acting differently. Once unfrozen, people have to want to become self-directed learners and must be taught the attitudes and skills of self-directed learning. Fortunately, several scientific breakthroughs are making this possible. Applying Fair Process specifically to the learning process is a particularly powerful way to unfreeze people from passive learning and motivate the development of the new habits of self-directed learning. Imagine the emotional and motivational contrast between the degradation of being told what and how to learn and the honor and dignity created by being trusted to make your own learning decisions. The motivational impact and engagement of applying Fair Process to learning is magnified considerably when the learning process is directly connected to achieving the greater Purpose. People become even more motivated to become self-directed learners when they perceive that they can and should control the means of achieving the compelling Purpose they have previously embraced. The bigger picture perspective on all of this science is that self-directed learners and great leaders are thoughtful, frequently reflecting on what they are doing and why they are doing it. In turn, reflection drives the literal wiring of the neurons to create fully internalized leadership behaviors. Teaching people to be self-directed, reflective learners is also teaching them to be great long-term self-directed, thoughtful leaders.  ]]>

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