Posted by: bwoof | January 27, 2010

Maven and Leonardo Da Vinci

Wikipedia says…A maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from the Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge….Malcolm Gladwell used it in his book The Tipping Point (Little Brown, 2000) to describe those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends…Gladwell also suggests that mavens may act most effectively when in collaboration with connectors – i.e., those people who have wide network of casual acquaintances by whom they are trusted, often a network that crosses many social boundaries and groups. Connectors can thus easily and widely distribute the advice or insights of a maven.

In my Personal Learning Network there are many mavens, people who bring to me wonderful tidbits of knowledge and wisdom which, when all stitched together, make my life so much richer and all the more interesting. Some of these people I know only online…but I do very much appreciate their contribution to my learning. Some folks I know in person.

Lisa is one such maven and we frequently share ideas and new concepts. Today, for example, she told me about a book titled How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci.

summary of the ideas in the book, offers several suggestions that Lisa and I discussed in between workshops at our conference today.

Highlights include the following seven traits that Da Vinci apparently possessed, all items that contributed to his great and long-lasting influence:

  • Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.
  • Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
  • Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
  • Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
  • Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination (“whole-brain thinking”).
  • Corporalita: The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
  • Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; “systems thinking.

And, I choose to add as an all-encompassing worldview “spiritualia faithus theos“, or as Bach scribed on all his compositions, “Soli Deo Gloria.” Without this, all of the above is pointless.

Grateful for:

  • our Principals conference and the good speaker and excellent workshops
  • colleagues who are interested in and able to ‘raise the bar’

Curious about:


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