I think we are always learning in one way or another from other people. Some people serve as an example of what NOT to do – so you learn from their mistakes and save your self time and effort. Some people provide value by showing with their own example what to do, how to improve things, and in which directions to go.
Use those observations for your own benefit – in personal life, at work, with friends and colleagues. There is no need to re-invent the wheel and you can save yourself a lot of effort and time with this approach.