Angela Maiers wrote a book called Classroom Habitudes (hat tip to Dorai Thodla) that I picked up last year and finally got around to reading. Maiers defines habitude as “a combination of habit and attitude. ” I was struck by how entrepreneurs would also be well served to cultivate them. She defines her six habitudes as
- Imagination. Discovery, innovation, creativity, and learning all begin with imagination.
- Curiosity. Champion learners are curious about everything. This inquisitive attitude fuels their unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
- Perseverance. Learners cannot go the distance without resolve, determination, firmness, and endurance.
- Self-Awareness. Knowing yourself, knowing your strength, preferences, and areas of need is a critical characteristic of a successful learner.
- Courage. Courageous learners understand that safe is risky. Success is the byproduct of taking risks.
- Adaptability. The world opens up for adaptable learners, as they approach each task, each challenge willing to be a beginner.
Maiers’ book reminded me of a great book by Gordon Mackenzie: “Orbiting the Giant Hairball.” He also talks in practical terms about fostering creativity and learning, but his focus is on the workplace. Mackenzie makes the point early on that if you go to a class of first graders and ask how many are artists, everyone jumps to their feet. By the sixth grade only one or two in a class of thirty will even raise their hand.
He observes “every school I visited was participating in the suppression of creative genius.” Both books offer some prescriptions for how schools and firms can remedy this.
Don’t let your workplace and management style have the same affect on your partners and employees.