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"The only source of knowledge is experience"
- Albert Einstein, 1879-1955.
Einstein's genius completely changed our understanding of the universe. He developed the theory of relativity, and contributed to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Einstein understood the fundamental difference between the ease of mere speculation and the hard work needed to gain knowledge. He gives us the key to understanding leadership: experience.

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"
- Heraclitus, 6th century BCE.
Heraclitus' philosophy was based on paradox, or the unity of opposites. His central concept was impermanence, or the world constantly in flux.
Heraclitus understood the challenges of leadership. Firstly, that no two leadership challenges were ever the same, because of the changing circumstances that created them. Secondly, that no leader faced with different circumstances could expect to succeed
by treating them as the same.

"Life is a hard teacher: it gives you the experience first and (if you're lucky) the lesson afterwards".
- Jim Hargreaves, FRGS, 1946-2022.
Jim was not only one of Britain's finest expedition kayakers, who made the first sea kayak circumnavigation of Cape Horn, but a great teacher who devoted much of his life to helping others develop in the wilderness. Firstly, he understood that it is impossible to second-guess what the demands of leadership will be, as the circumstances are unknown until the moment of action. Secondly, that leadership can only be understood upon reflection within the context of experience.