Individuals have to sense the importance of learning and decide on their own what should be learned. Specifically, managers have two reasons to learn. The first one is the need to obtain knowledge and skills. The second reason is for fulfillment. Managers are aware of a difference between who they are and whom they want to be, and they tend to fill the gap by learning. Generally, people have seven styles of learning: emulation, role taking, practical accomplishment, validation, anticipation, personal growth and scientific learning. To elaborate, emulation is when people tend to imitate historical figures and public giants, and validation is when people apply a new concept that they have learned based on facts presented to them. In terms of accepting responsibility and directing learning, “ Knowing Yourself” provides an example to explain it. Kaplan transferred his career from biology to the music business and played the role of vice-president of Disney Production. The gap between these two industries lets Kaplan feel challenged. To fulfill his responsibilities, he works hard on learning relevant knowledge and skills. For example, to learn from successful movies, he watches five movies every day and reads each movie script carefully. To learn details about the operations of the music business, he stays in the studio head office, listens to the studio head respond to calls and observes his way of talking with clients. Currently, Kaplan is able to fulfill his responsibilities as well as his peers. Leaders are not only eager to learn anything they can, but also need to find out what kind of knowledge and skills would benefit them. The process of learning is not just knowing new materials, but also coming to understand the world.
Understanding your learning is the last lesson of self-knowledge. This process involves the transformation from theories to practices. Based on Socrates’s statement, self-reflection is a method that helps people to understand the experiences learned from others. For example, we should ask several questions such as “why did it happen?”, “how do I solve this problem?” and “what should I learn from this case?” The purpose of