Growth and advancement in life come with increased levels of knowledge and understanding. What I have learned about the most successful leaders I know is that they are all life long learners. No matter how advanced they are, they find a way to stay hungry for knowledge. For me, it’s simple, if I stop learning now I will forever stay at my current level.
Why is this important for leaders?
As leaders many of us have people following in our footsteps and looking for guidance. If the leader isn’t learning more on a continuous basis at some point they will deplete their ability to teach their followers new and relevant material. But, in the case of someone that is always learning, there is a never-ending timeline for teachable moments.
What are you currently learning about?
This is one of the first questions I ask coaching clients that are looking to get more out of life. This attitude of the learner is critical for anyone looking to get to the next level. However, it isn’t just learning, it is also implementation. The commitment to learning is what I want to talk about in this post. I’ll write about implementation in another blog post.
The first day I was on the floor by myself as an intern, I was scared. Super scared… I knew I had all the training, had taking my exams and had the knowledge, but I wondered if I really had what it took. One of the first things I did when I got to the unit was to find the most senior nurse and asked her questions. I wanted her to know I was there to learn from everyone and I didn’t want anyone to think they couldn’t question something I was doing. Why did I do this? I knew with her 20 years of experience, she could teach me something.
This leads me to my next point, being a learner and being humble go hand in hand. The more humble you are, the more open you are to learning from the vast amount of knowledge the people around you have. Staying humble has been the X-factor for me in gaining friendships and loyalty in the world.
Here’s a practical tip. This week, learn from an unlikely source. Be a student again. The easiest way to do this is to ask a child to teach you something. Maybe about a knew game or a social media site. Learners are leaders.
Lead well by staying committed to learning.
Also published on Medium.