Are You Still Learning?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On September 22, 2014

Are-You-Still-LearningRecently there was in interesting article posted on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network that’s well worth a read. You can check out: The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners here. There was one thought in particular, however, that really caught my attention:

 It takes a real sense of personal commitment, especially after you’ve arrived at a position of power and responsibility, to push yourself to grow and challenge conventional wisdom. Which is why two of the most important questions leaders face are as simple as they are profound: Are you learning, as an organization and as an individual, as fast as the world is changing? Are you as determined to stay interested as to be interesting?

 There is no real leading today without learning. The business world around us is constantly changing. If we’re not learning, we’re not leading—we’re falling behind. You can’t lead from behind.

Ah, but here’s where the rubber meets the road. We talk about the fact that we believe in learning. We know it’s a good idea. But what do we actually do to increase our knowledge and to keep abreast (or even ahead) of what’s happening around us?

  • What Are You Reading? Do you keep a list of books by innovative business thinkers and leaders that you’re working on? Do you have specific time set aside in your schedule that you devote to reading and learning? If you’re like most people, if you don’t plan it, it won’t happen—regardless of how important you say it is.
  • Who Are Meeting With? A lot of us tend to meet and exchange ideas with people who think exactly the way we do. That may be a bit more comfortable for us, but if we really want to learn, we need to meet people who think a little differently—people who challenge our assumptions, and look at the world from a slightly different angle. Do the people from whom you get advice agree with you all the time? Or do they sometimes make you uncomfortable with their questions about what you do? Are you taking steps to expand the universe of people with whom you meet? Or are you settling for comfortable conversations?

One way I’m planning to push my boundaries and expose myself to new thinking is by attending the 2014 Growth Summit presented by Fortune coming up Tuesday and Wednesday, October 28-29 in Las Vegas. Click on the link to check out the list of people presenting at this fabulous 2-day conference. There are guaranteed to be some people there who will make you think differently about your business—and help you learn to be a better leader.

By the way, if you go, and I end up getting 4 people to register, the individual rate drops to $400 per person. So if you put my name in the coach code when you register we should have enough people to get you the lower rate! (If you have questions, shoot me a note and I’ll be happy to answer your questions)

Are you still learning? Here’s a chance to step up your learning big time!