Changing dynamics in competitors; the digital revolution, new role definitions, new regulatory frameworks supported by new legislation (the list could go on) has redefined our ‘ability to learn’ as an essential skill. Read on to find out why all leaders and business professional need to keep learning
THE DAY YOU STOP LEARNING IS THE DAY YOU STOP EARNING!
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, summed it up well when he said Amazon thinks like a day 1 business – why because it will never fall into the trap of complacency.
In a Sunday Times Article, Jeff Bezos claimed that if Amazon lost the desperation it had when he founded it, there would be an “excruciating, painful decline” followed by the “death” of the online retailer. The billionaire laid bare the extent of his paranoia in Amazon’s annual letter to shareholders – a rambling missive that has become required reading for any business leader.
Bezos, called Amazon a “Day 1 company, adding Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always a Day 1 business.”
Business leaders and professional must keep learning because of one simple word relevance.
The relevance of the product or service your business provides. Its relevance as a provider of choice for your customers. Its relevance when pitched against your competition. Its relevance as an employer of choice for your people. And to take it to a personal level, by asking the question; ‘how relevant am I as a Leader?’
How do you keep learning in order to stay relevant, and do it in addition to your day job?
A CONSCIOUS AND DELIBERATE INTENT FOR LEARNING
Your WHY has to be strong enough. Learning should not be viewed as an addition to your day job, but rather as an integral part of your day job.
The fresh, modern leaders are already there. They operate in a state of curiosity – the wonderful child-like instinct that for most is conditioned out of us as we age. They see everything they do on a daily basis as a learning opportunity…
…read books or listen to audio books,
…are great networkers, accelerating their success through understanding the success principles of others,
…search out business magazines and articles when travelling,
…watch TED talks,
…have their inner circle of confidents and advisors who they trust or are part of a forum of like-minded individuals.
They proactively and constantly seek out opportunities to learn.
‘THERE ARE NO CROWDS LINING THE EXTRA MILE’
It’s the place where you’re on your own. Just you and the road. Just you and the challenge, or vision, or goal you’ve set yourself, professionally or personally or both!
…work you do behind closed doors, when no one is watching.
…the extra brain power you put in to solve a particular task.
…the time taken out of a busy schedule to check the team are doing OK.
…the practice, the habits, the mindset you adopt, to make YOU the best YOU can be.
Every day, you decide how much effort you’re going to put in. A little, what’s expected or the extra mile. I promise you, few choose the last option. It’s certainly not a crowded place. But it is often the place where the difference between good and great is made.
When someone’s great at something we’re in awe of it and them. It’s easy to assume they’ve got there because they’re special or lucky or have the right contacts. Usually it’s none of those things. It’s simply they put in the extra effort, willing to do more than was necessary.
IT’S A JOURNEY OF ONGOING IMPROVEMENT
Do you ask yourself the question ‘what have I learnt new today?’ or more specifically ‘What have I learnt new today which is going to help me to be even better tomorrow than I was today?’. This is a great starting point in maintaining relevance, ensuring you can be the best version of you and setting yourself up to realise your personal and professional goals every day.
The opportunities are bountiful in terms of your ability to learn and develop.
But it’s down to you.
You have to take ownership and develop your conscious awareness for your own development. You have to put in place an ongoing plan to maintain your relevance and elite performance.
Success is not an accident and you are the architect of your own destiny with personal learning at the heart.