Don't Just Read... Dialogue
It's been another powerful weekend of teaching at Drake University. One of my goals as an intructor and facilitator is to assign meaningful reading to my students. (Textbook salespeople hate me.) Besides, most of my students are busy professionals who don't have time to trudge through deep academic journal articles which takes three readings to absorb 10,000 words which could have been effectively communicated in 1,000. They want real, honest, take-back-to-their-desk application.
For a class in executive leadership, we covered a lot of ground. But the highlight of the weekend were two "virtual guest speakers" who conferenced into my class via telephone (not an easy task to address an audience blind). But I have to say, Joshua Seldman and Kevin Eikenberry were both amazing! They shared their knowledge and experience and beliefs from the heart, and each allowed my students to bombard him with really tough questions for 90 minutes solid. It was an amazing dialogue. I highly recommend their respective books, Remarkable Leadership and Executive Stamina. My students described their books as relevant, life-changing, and impactful. They had even kinder words for both Joshua and Kevin. I feel very fortunate that this "whole blogging thing" has led to relationships that stretch me.
What about you? When you read a book, do you just set it down when you're done? Or do you ever try to reach out to the author? It's one thing to process a page, but it's quite another to have a give-and-take conversation with the author, to ask, "What did you mean by what you wrote on page 47?" I've been honored and humbled when my readers have reached out to me. And I love the ability to reach out to the authors who have changed my life. I'm even more rewarded by introducing these same authors to my students. It can only get better.
Thanks, Kevin and Joshua! You guys rock!!!