By Joe Murphy, JD, CCEP, CCEP-I
I have read how useful the SCCE CEI is for newbies. And I am certain that is true. But what about us “oldies,” the ones who have been around for a long time, or even from the beginning? I worry that some of my contemporaries have forgotten how to listen. Every time I attend the CEI I learn important insights. And not just from the experts, but from people who are even newbies. People who bring different perspectives, people who ask new questions, people from different industries.
Now I am not talking about the occasional new “geniuses,” who arrive to talk down to the rest of us about how we have been wrong from day one, and only this new prophet sees the truth we all missed. These are the people who at the end of the day tell us to use magic pixie dust to prevent corporate crime and misconduct. No, I am talking about people like Kristy Grant-Hart when she first appeared at a CEI as a newbie. I learned from her how you can do a presentation where you use actual pixie dust to show that pixie dust doesn’t work! She was clever in a way that never occurred to me. I had been to CEIs since day one; this was her first. But I learned from a beginner.
Maybe the biggest risk of being experienced is to forget how to listen and learn. No, my fellow experienced practitioners, don’t confine yourself to sessions targeted to us “experts.” Go to the sessions with the newbies. Go to learn, not from experts but from people still open enough to listen and share their ideas. And recognize that the only way to remain an expert is to listen to others who actually have new ideas and perspectives.
Being an expert doesn’t mean you know everything and can stop listening. Being an expert means you remain curious and have enough humility to know that every other person can teach you something, if you just keep listening. And as long as I keep my health, I hope to keep attending CEIs and keep learning.
Oh, and goodbye Roy – an expert, a teacher, and a great listener.