Recently people gathered in a hotel ballroom to watch and hear speakers in a different city talk live about leadership on a simulcast. The day, Leadercast, was amazing and featured some of the top speakers in the world (Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, Andy Stanley, Dr. Henry Cloud, and even Archbishop Desmond Tutu). There were only 150 in attendance for this learning opportunity when there was room for three times as many.
Where were the other 300 people? They were back at work attending to deadlines, answering emails and justifying why they are far too busy to learn. In other words, they had an excuse.
Busy is the new justification for not continuing to learn. As a result of the economic downturn beginning in 2007, many workers, managers and executives have resigned themselves to not having enough time for development, training and learning.
Sexual harassment, blood born pathogen and annual forklift safety training classes? Of course there is plenty of time for that type of learning. Human resource cops have deemed it all as necessary to avoid law suits.
In fact, many human resource departments have stopped doing what they were originally designed to do: Develop the human resource of the companies they serve.
HR Cops were given the job of avoiding lawsuits and laying people off without getting sued. It is not the HR executives’ fault. They lost their way out of necessity and their companies have allowed it.
Smart companies know that the bottom line and long term growth of their companies depend on the development of their people. The short term, gristmill approach to doing business no doubt provides profit, but at what cost?
So how do we develop ourselves in this environment? I have news for you there, Sparky: It is up to you.
Consciously Not Learning
One of my first managers of my career proudly told me he had NOT picked up a book since he graduated college. He said it with the same sense of pride that an executive recently used on me when he said, “I don’t tweet. I don’t even get this Twitter stuff!” They consciously stopped learning. Both are classified in my book as knuckleheads.
Don’t be a knucklehead
Stay out of my book of knuckleheads. Add some learning to your day; every day. Take 15 minutes to read a book. Listen to a book or a podcast as you ride to work or between appointments.
Watch short videos on various topics. Give up that mindless talk radio and reality TV once in a while and learn.
Right now I am reading Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a MarketerSell Like a Superstar and Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration In addition, I listen to Michael Hyatt’s weekly podcast and I am watching the videos from Leadercast on www.leadercastnow.com. How about you?
I want you to grow and to have a chance to get ahead. I may be harsh, but when you proudly and consciously stop learning, you lose out on so much of what your life can offer. We spend so much of our lives working. Why not learn and challenge yourself to keep it interesting?
Believe me that I am an knucklehead in other people’s books because I don’t exercise enough or I don’t wear the right clothes or because I don’t find what they find to be important. I am fine with that. The difference is that learning helps not only you, but those around you.
There is a saying that “Wherever you go, there you are.” Wouldn’t you rather be wherever you are a bit better, a bit more knowledgable than you were yesterday?
Are you ready to begin the journey?
Comment below: What are you doing right now to continue the learning process? What is the last good book you read to expand your knowledge base? Other recommendations?