You are a leader. You want to teach, achieve results, and make meaningful contributions, but the thing that will make the biggest difference for your leadership is learning. In the end, learning comes first. Learning precedes achievement.
7 ways to become a learner:
1. Test yourself by stepping into discomfort.
- Try something new if you want to learn something new.
- Find someone who will support, rather than accuse, when you test yourself.
- Explain what you’re trying to do, before you do it.
- Aggressively seek feedback after testing yourself.
2. Ask questions.
- The questions you ask predict your future.
- Stay calm when listening. Breathe and calm your spirit. You can’t listen when you’re in a rush.
- Don’t punish people when you hear something you don’t like, honor them.
- Ask awkward or obvious questions.
- Don’t accuse with questions. Avoid, “Why?”
- Explore reasons why something might be right, before explaining why it’s wrong.
- Avoid defending your ideas, before you understand the ideas of others.
- Take the posture of a novice, even if you think of yourself as an expert.
3. Believe you can learn from anyone.
It’s amazing how people who ask for advice often tell you how to give it. Don’t be so smart. If you’re older, learn from the younger. If you’re younger, open yourself to your elders.
4. Learn a little every day, rather than a lot all at once. Bite size chunks of learning are better than large gulps.
- Learning that sticks takes time.
5. Reflect on your journey.
- Ask yourself, “What am I learning?”
- Try keeping a journal. The best thing I do for myself is write everyday.
- Explore your journey with a coach or mentor. An audience aids reflection.
6. Make room for mistakes. The need to learn without being wrong holds you back.
- Being wrong comes before being right.
7. Learn as you go, not before you go.