In my journey to increase my leadership, I’ve come to realize the importance of self-growth and the value of always learning. Let’s face it, if you want to lead, you must learn to lead yourself first.
I’ve found that most successful leaders become successful through their insatiable drive to learn more. They are never satisfied with what they know; they always want to know more. In fact, successful leaders are somewhat obsessive with their desire and drive to learn.
Here are eight (8) ways to create an obsession to learning:
- Do it every day – Every discussion, every wrong turn, every meeting, every confrontation, every conversation; learn from it. Don’t waste the day; we only get so many. Never pass up an opportunity to learn!
- Never be satisfied with today – Whatever you accomplish, good for you, but remember tomorrow is coming and today will just be yesterday. Never forget yesterday, but rather learn from it and take today straight on!
- Serve others by helping to solve problems – Learn by helping others succeed. Leaders help those whom they lead. Invest in your people’s development, give words of wisdom and encouragement. Be a part of their struggles and successes!
- Read! – Everything and anything! Need to solve a problem? Need an answer to a question? There’s a book for that! Reading will not only increase your knowledge, but it will also improve your vocabulary and creative process. I used to hate to read. After college, I don’t think I read a book for ten years after graduation. Apparently, I’m not the only one. 42% of all college graduates will never read another book after completion of their formal education! Make reading a habit of learning and get ahead of 42% of the people!
- Ask questions – John Maxwell said, “Answers inform, but questions transform.” Ask questions and be willing to challenge the answer with the notion to understand the answer given. Remember, we don’t know it all, never will.
- Be an active listener – If you ask a question, be willing to listen to the answer actively. I’ve found I learn more by listening and less by talking. Listen and learn.
- Keep an open mind – Be open to new ways of thinking. Realize there is always another and maybe better way to do things. Remember you don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t know it!
- Always fail forward – You failed? Get over it! What did you learn? J.M. Barrie said, “We are all failures – at least, all the best of us are.” Always find the positive in failure. In fact, I think failure is the best way to learn.
Leaders who never stop to improve themselves are eager to take on new challenges, embrace change and help others succeed.
Become a leader who yearns to learn!