Thursday 17th Oct 2019
The external market place and the business arena is constantly changing, and as we know, the old rule book no longer applies. Changing dynamics in competitors; the digital revolution, new role definitions, new regulatory frameworks supported by new legislation (the list could go on) has redefined our ‘ability to learn’ as an essential skill. Read these 4 reasons why you must keep learning.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, summed it up well when he said Amazon thinks like a day one business – why because it will never fall into the trap of complacency.
In a Sunday Times Article, Jeff Bezos claimed that if Amazon lost the desperation it had when he founded it, there would be an “excruciating, painful decline” followed by the “death” of the online retailer. The billionaire laid bare the extent of his paranoia in Amazon’s annual letter to shareholders – a rambling missive that has become required reading for any business leader.
Bezos, called Amazon a “Day 1 company, adding Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always a Day 1 business.”
You must keep learning because of one simple word relevance.
The relevance of your products or services to solve your customers’ needs. Your relevance as a provider of choice for your customers. Your relevance when pitched against your competitors. Your relevance as an employer of choice for your people. And to take it to a personal level, by asking the question; ‘your relevance as a leader?’
Every day, you decide how much effort you’re going to put in. A little, or what’s expected or the extra mile. I promise you; few choose the last option. It’s certainly not a crowded place. But it is often the place where the difference between good and great is made.
When someone’s excellent at something, we’re in awe of it and them. It’s easy to assume they’ve got there because they’re special or lucky or have the right contacts. Usually, it’s none of those things. It’s simply they put in the extra effort, willing to do more than was necessary. Willing to learn and try something new.
It’s usually the place where you’re on your own. Just you and the road. Just you and the challenge, or vision, or goal you’ve set yourself, professionally or personally or both!
The work you do behind closed doors when no one is watching. The extra brainpower you put in to solve a particular task. You may not get any medals or certificates, but it’s the practice, the habits, the mindset you adopt, to make YOU the best YOU can be.
Learning should not be viewed as an addition to your day job, but rather as an integral part of your day job.
The fresh, modern leaders are already there. They operate in a state of curiosity, the wonderful child-like instinct that for most is conditioned out of us as we age. They see everything they do daily as a learning opportunity.
Reading books or listening to audiobooks = learning opportunity.
Networking event = learning opportunity.
Business magazines and articles = learning opportunity.
Watching TED talks = learning opportunity.
Keeping close an inner circle of trusted confidants and like-minded individuals = learning opportunity.
Are you proactively seeking opportunities to learn?
‘What have you learnt new today which is going to help you be even better tomorrow?’.
Your opportunities are bountiful to learn and develop. But it’s down to you. You have to take ownership of your development. You have to put in place an ongoing plan to maintain your relevance and elite performance.
Success is not an accident, and you are the architect of your destiny with personal learning at heart.