Learning, Leading, and Success

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On January 31, 2012

You may have competitors that are bigger than you. Some of your competitors may have more resources than you do. Some may even have inside connections that you don’t have. All of those things may be beyond your control. But here’s something that you—and you alone–can control: You can commit yourself to out-reading, and out-learning your competitors! And that can give you a clear competitive advantage.

Successful leaders are learners—and they build a culture of learning that influences those around them. What makes them successful is that they never stop learning. Why is that so important?

The business world today is in a state of constant change—and it’s not just technology that’s changed. What customers wanted yesterday isn’t what they want today. And it definitely won’t be what they will be asking for tomorrow.

How people do business has changed radically over the last few years. How businesses reach potential customers and interact with them is dramatically different than it was just 10 years ago. Companies constantly have to reinvent themselves. The companies that don’t learn and change die.

One of your most important roles as a business leader is to keep learning. If you’re not learning about changing trends in the market place, better methods for getting things done, and new ideas for your business, you’ll get passed by one of your competitors.

You have to lead by example. You can’t expect the rest of your team to learn new things if you’re not doing it yourself. You have to do it and then you have to encourage your team members to do it.

You probably have sales goals for the year. You may have goals for profits and share of the market as well. What are your learning goals for 2012? In what areas do you want to improve your knowledge or expertise? What books will you read? What seminars or webinars will you attend? And how will you enable your employees to improve their knowledge and skills?

Successful leaders learn. They create culture that’s conducive to learning. And that leads to success.

Looking for some good learning resources? Shoot me a note and I’ll pass on some suggestions.