Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Julius Yego, a Javelin athlete from Kenya, did something unthinkable- winning a silver medal. Kenya is traditionally known to have produced long distance runners, how did they produce a Javelin champion ? Julius is nick-named as “Mr. YouTube” because he learned how to throw by watching YouTube videos and started with formal coaching quite late in his career.

Aditi Ashok, Indian Woman Golfer got the cricket-crazy country hooked on to Golf at Tokyo Olympics. She was unlucky to have narrowly missed a medal (coming a close 4th). How did she prepare for Tokyo Olympics ? She says- "I take a lot of videos and keep learning about my swing everyday". She has been self-coached since last 4.5 years.

Anna Kiesenhofer (Austrian Cyclist) who stunned the superstar cyclists to win a Gold holds a doctorate in Mathematics. What's more interesting (beyond her educational excellence) was that she went into Olympics self-coached (including her training, nutrition, equipment etc) . I recall she calling herself mastermind of her own performance.

To me, a few thoughts stand out, learning from these athletes:
1. The way we learn is undergoing massive disruption and its been happening for years. Julius was considered as an outlier at last Olympics, having learned his craft from videos but his tribe of self-learners has grown in sports. A trend that mirrors what's happening at work.

2. Learning has been democratized. There is no value in losing time waiting for an ideal course to be created before we start on something new. Be damn good at searching for resources, adapt and take charge of our learning.

3. Like in sports, in knowledge work too, most of the things can't be taught, they have to be learned. Self awareness, combined with ruthless desire to learn is a superpower. The pace of growth mostly depends on how fast you learn what is not taught.

Relevant to this discussion, sharing a replug of my sketchnote based on Jim Kwik's video- How to Learn anything in half the time- https://lnkd.in/fgs8ggM-

1. When you teach someone, you get to learn it twice.
2. Your brain does not learn through consumption, it learns through creation.
3. Forget what you already know about the subject to learn something new.

What are some of the learning strategies that have worked for you ?

My LinkedIn post:

No comments: