One of the lessons I’m learning through The Junto Institute is the power of shared experiences: it’s extraordinarily potent for learning when done in mass quantities. With 13 startup founders, over 40 mentors and instructors, and 10 subject matter experts, a lot of Junto experience is being shared in less than a year. And it’s a tremendous win-win.
The benefits to Junto founders has been expected: they learn how seasoned professionals managed a variety of situations related to starting, running, and leading companies. They’re able to practice active listening as they hear memorable stories of failures and successes. Not only do they get inspired and humbled, they’re given much to think about in terms of how to approach their own challenges.
What has been a pleasant surprise is the extent of feedback I’ve received from the Junto mentors and instructors. They’re putting in hours and hours of their time – pro bono – because shared experiences forces them to reflect on their own life and times. Sharing experiences forces them to become vulnerable but in a safe environment where their stories are valued. And the process of recalling and telling those stories reminds them of what they learned from those experiences yet how much more they have to learn going forward.
More of us need to seek opportunities to share our own experiences, no matter what age we are, how much experience we have, or what the subject matter is.