One of the best things you can do as a leader is to keep learning all throughout your life. If you don’t learn to grow, advance, and adapt, you’ll probably face the same fate as many failed giants - like the booksellers, Borders.
But, maybe you’re thinking to yourself that you enjoy the “old school” way of thinking and doing business, that you don’t want to change the tried and true way of business - but think again. While you spend your time resisting and ignoring the way the rest of the world is learning and growing, those who used to have the same “old school” mentality along with you are long gone. They're making deals via video conferencing and attending think tanks with other industry leaders while you’re sitting by your phone hoping someone will call.
Growth through learning will also lead to:
- Saving money on skills that you should be able to learn to do yourself; i.e. outsourcing.
- Nabbing great opportunities for better deals and business from the other less educated competition; i.e. video conferencing as mentioned before.
- Getting promotions within your company. Maybe your company wants to grow and learn and, if you show initiative, a new and exciting position could be yours!
- Gaining a great source of fulfillment - when you learn a new skill, there’s immense satisfaction in doing so.
Keeping learning alive in your everyday life will not only make life easier for you but also for those you lead. Some easy ways to keep an open mind and create an environment for learning are:
- Read blogs: Reading blogs will keep you sharp in your industry and make it easy for you to branch out and read whatever you find interesting. Usually blogs are kept fairly short, so reading 5-6 a day can be easily achieved.
- Become familiar with new technology: Smartphones and tablets are all the rage with the information-hungry generation, but who says you can’t be information hungry, too? Go to your local electronics store and play around with a few models to see which is best for your needs. You, too, can keep up with the news, chat with people all over the world, and go over presentation items all on your morning commute.
- Talk to people: One of the best ways to learn is to learn from others. Talk to your next taxi driver or talk to the newest employee in your office - chances are, they have some really interesting things to say that could open your eyes.
- Branch out: Heard about a conference that doesn’t exactly pertain to your business? Go anyway! Being there, talking to new people, and hearing inspiring thoughts will get those gears turning in your brain for your life and company.
Your employees trust you as a leader. And being a leader means making sure you look out for your employees. After reading all of these points, the best way to do this is to learn, grow, and adapt in business. You won’t lose yourself or your values - you’ll enrich them and bring them along for the ride as you advance along with the rest of the world.