Knowledge is Leadership Power: Are You a Lifetime Learner?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On October 5, 2018

Leadership Power

Learning and Leadership Power

A lot of business leaders aspire to lead. But what are the things that make someone a good leader? I recently read an article on leadership power about one of the most successful business people in our lifetimes that highlighted one of his lifelong habits—one that could be argued is the basis for his incredible success. The man is Warren Buffet and his lifelong habit has to do with learning. Warren Buffet is a lifetime learner. Why? Because knowledge is leadership power—are you a lifetime learner?

In the article I read, that author (Michael Simmons) shared that he had heard that Warren Buffett spends 80 percent of his time reading and thinking, and has done so for his entire career. He wondered, “How can the CEO of a company with hundreds of thousands of employees have so much free time while my schedule is packed?”

It’s Not Just About Facts—It’s About Insight

Simmons shares that what Buffet gleans from his reading and thinking isn’t just facts and knowledge, but insight. That’s what has made him one of the greatest investors of all time. It’s not the volume (the number) of his investments that matter (there have been long periods of time in which he hasn’t invested a penny). Rather it’s the quality of his choices that make him successful. That quality comes from the insights he’s gained through reading and thinking. His commitment to learning and thinking helps him to see things that others miss.

Learn Outside of Your Silo
It’s easy to get trapped into “silo-thinking” by focusing only on your specific industry or your particular area of expertise. If you want to disrupt your industry, you need a broader perspective. You need to think beyond the constraints in which your business or industry operates. Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and others didn’t just offer new ways to do the same old thing. They completely changed the way people thought about computing and music; shopping; and cars.

Why Should You Keep Learning?
More than ever, things are in a constant state of change. Ideas that were once revolutionary are now common practice. Some strategies that were once “industry best-practices” are now ineffective. Markets that didn’t exist a few years ago are now booming. Other markets that have existed for decades have ceased to exist.

You Don’t Have to Do This On Your Own
While it’s essential that you keep learning (and make the time to do so) you don’t have to wade through all of the changes and new information on your own. This is where an executive business coach can be indispensable. A great business coach will challenge you to keep learning (I spend hundreds of hours a year learning and educating myself—and I constantly recommend great resources to my clients). A great coach will also help you set up systems and metrics to make sure your vision, strategy, and execution are aligned with your goals and with the marketplace. What’s more, a great coach will hold you accountable in those areas—even when you’re busy running your business.

Is your business in a position to scale up and take advantage of exponential growth? If not, what’s holding you back? I urge you to click on the orange “Business Not Growing?” button below to take a 5-minute assessment that will let you know how your company is doing in areas that are critical for scaling your business.


Photo by geralt