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Being a life long learner

Brian Tracey, an expert on growth and leadership, has this to say about being a lifelong learner…..

“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you will ever have is your mind, and what you put into it.”

I tend to agree, so here are 5 truths about being a lifelong learner for entrapreneurs, intrapreneurs and engaged people to consider:- with Thanks to Jackie and Kevin Freiberg

  1. A life-long learner is an individual who continually grows and renews him or herself through acquiring, transferring, and creating knowledge. It’s not just training, it is the ability to create knowledge and learn from all people and all experiences. Every organization wants great talent.
  2. An organization is only as strong as its members—it moves only as fast as the “slowest many.” Organizations learn only through individuals who learn and grow. If people aren’t passionate about learning, organizations can’t grow.
  3. As competition intensifies, markets shift, technology explodes, and regulations become more complex, the needs of the customer keep changing! The target keeps moving. It’s not enough anymore to identify the customers’ needs and meet them. Today the wise competitors are anticipating their customers’ needs. Accurate anticipation means being “in the know”—a result of life-long learning.
  4. When people stop learning they atrophy and die.  Gallup research shows that almost 75% of the workforce is NOT engaged. People who grow are stimulating and passionate because:
  • They have more to give away
  • They bring more to the party
  • They expand their capacities to take on bigger challenges
  1. Learning organizations are created by people who possess a spirit of inquiry. Most people engage in one of two types of communication: ADVOCACY or INQUIRY.

Advocates are people whose natural inclination is to actively support or defend an idea or a position. People who gravitate toward inquiry probe and explore the issues. They tend to ask lots of questions and make a thorough study of people’s needs. It’s virtually impossible to use both types of communication at the same time.

Employees at Herman Miller, Inc., conducted a study and discovered that during business meetings 89% of their communication was advocacy, not inquiry! Their discovery led them to the conclusion that advocacy at Herman Miller, Inc. was too often overused and was not promoting the kind of learning organization desired. Today, they facilitate and foster an environment of INQUIRY.

Question: What new skills or knowledge have you acquired in the last six months that adds new value to your business or and makes it more competitive?   Enjoy the week in an environment of inquiry!

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