Last week I attended a retreat for a leadership development program I am participating in called Emerge. It is a great program offered by Leadership Austin. The retreat was the kick-off for the program and we’ll have six more sessions over then next 12 weeks. I’m really excited about this learning journey.
As I told people about being a part of the Emerge program, I was met with a strange response. Because of my background in leadership development (I have been around this industry my whole life, run a success leadership development business, and create content on leadership topics). The response was usually something like this, “So you could really be teaching these classes?” or “This must be nothing new to you?”
My response to the people who asked was simple. I am always looking for new things to learn or new ways of doing things. I think the number one requirement for someone in my business is to be coachable and willing to learn. If you’re aren’t , you won’t be very successful or very authentic.
Here are a 3 reasons to commit yourself to lifelong learning:
- The enemy of growing is “knowing”. The worst mindset you can possibly have is “I already know that.” This is a fixed mindset. Growing and learning go hand-in-hand. Once you think you know it all, you’re right back to the beginning. This is difficult for a lot of people, including me sometimes. You may know more about a subject than someone else, but what if that other person knows one thing that you don’t? What if that one thing will make all the difference for you? As leaders we should always be looking for that slight edge. That doesn’t come from what we already know.
- Learning doesn’t end with formal education. Have you ever heard someone say, “I am so glad to be done with school!” I remember saying that too. Getting a diploma of any kind is a major accomplishment, but is not the end of your learning journey. If anything, it’s the beginning of your learning. If you stop learning after graduation you might as well rip up that diploma because it will become worthless.
- An investment in yourself has a guaranteed return. Many people invest in the stock market or new businesses. There aren’t many investments that provide a guaranteed return. An investment in yourself is one of the few investments in life that always provides a return. Think of the last time you invested in something, maybe it was a new car or some kind of stock. What if you would have invested that money into yourself?
There are so many positives to being a lifelong learner. We have to understand that our minds are like parachutes, they only work when they’re open (Thomas Dewar). Your mind cannot be fully open when you think you know it all. That’s why I am in the Emerge program. I have an open mind. The only thing I really know is that I can always learn something new.
Here are a few questions for you to reflect on:
- What are the last 3 books you have read? (Let me know if there are any you recommend.)
- How much money, time, and energy have you invested into your own personal growth in the past month? Year? In your whole life?
- What is one new thing you will do this month to invest in yourself?
Lifelong learning is one of my callings. I believe that it is also our responsibility as leaders. If you want to be the BOSS of your life, you have to continue to learn every single day. Growth is like gardening. If you don’t plant, nothing will grow. What will you plant into your mind?
Maybe you really want to learn, but you think you can’t afford to invest in yourself. Can you really afford not to? The late, great Jim Rohn used to say if you think education is expensive, try ignorance. I think that is pretty great advice.
I am committed to lifelong learning. Will you join me?