The more you learn, the more you realise there is to learn. So, learn, learn and keep learning how to improve what you do and how you do it. Apply the learning, practice, take risks, make mistakes, move on and continuously improve yourself.
As many of you know my passion is learning, however it was not always this way. At the age of only 21 I was promoted into my first training role. I had no real idea what it meant, but it was a better position and package, travel through the UK, working from home and I was excited about doing something different. I had a lot to learn and somehow also thought that it would not be so difficult and I'd soon be up to speed. I could not have been more wrong.
Some of the on-the-job learning went easily and I have two different managers to thank in this time. They organised internal workshops for all internal trainers and were great mentors in helping me improve day-by-day. 4 years later when I moved on from this role the main thing I'd learned was how much more I could learn not only about training, but about life.
Since that time I have continuously invested in my own ongoing learning and this served me well when I took over my 1st leadership role. Again the organisation supported and developed us a lot as leaders but I was curious and wanted to do the best job I could so I did much more. I read anything related to the topic of leadership, I asked a lot of questions of anyone that was willing to answer, I watched what others did, learned from those who had mastered skills I hadn't yet learned, learned from others successes and failures as well as my own and discussed problems with friends and colleagues whenever I had the chance.
- The meeting that you went to that really didn't go so well gives you ideas for how to run a better meeting
- The review meeting with your manager inspires you with new ideas you can use with your own team
- A question one of your team asked you made you realise that you probably have not communicated something as well as you could and so you plan for a further discussion on this topic with your team
- Giving a presentation to management or your clients that although successful, you realise you did not feel good about, means that you will prepare your next presentation differently
And so the examples go on and on...
The main thing is not to wait for someone else to take responsibility for your learning. When we learn our confidence and self-esteem grow, we feel ready for more challenges, we have more positive experiences and feel better about what we do and how we do it. This helps us as leaders but also stays in our lives for whatever we do in the future.
We never unlearn what we have learned so the value of learning is way beyond today and any specific role or situation.
Taking responsibility for our own learning not only makes us a better person, but a better leader, mentor, colleague, friend, parent and any other role we choose to take throughout our lifetime.
So, what did you learn today?