We’re All Padawan Learners

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By Linda Fisher Thornton

With the new Star Wars movie being released this month, my family and I recently watched all six of the original Star Wars movies in one week. It was an intense movie marathon, and watching them all in the order they were released gave us a unique perspective. 

Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times the forces of good overcome the forces of evil in the Star Wars movies, there is always another challenge? There is never a moment when the characters “arrive” and are exempt from ethical challenges. They can never let down their guard.

Why? Because power can corrupt or it can be used for good. In the six original Star Wars movies, we see what happens when a Padawan learner (Luke) is humble and stays the course, always open to learning. We also see what happens when a Padawan learner (Vader) thinks he has “arrived” and is no longer willing to learn from others. 

We are all Padawan learners on the ethical journey. We are subject to making mistakes, and we must continually learn to stay ahead of our ethical challenges.

The surprising truth is that we are all also teachers. Others are watching our choices and learning from us. 

As others observe our choices, how will they see us choosing to use our power?

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Understanding Leader Bias: 5 Sources

5 Sources for Understanding and Avoiding Leader Bias

1. “The Vision Renewal Process: How to Achieve Bias-Free Leadership” Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D. Worforce Diversity Network

2. “Your Leadership Bias” Dave Jensen, Dave Jensen on Leadership

3.  “How do Leaders Avoid Bias?”  Richard Charkin, Common Purpose Blog

4. “Avoiding Bias” Bob Korn, Responsible Thinking: Principles

5. “APA Stylistics: Avoiding Bias”  Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

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