There are so many opportunities to keep learning that it would be difficult to avoid it. Experience, learning from your mistakes, is important but here I am talking about seeking out opportunities to learn. You can seek out speakers who have something insightful and thought-provoking to say, you should read widely and get into discussions with others. Experiential Business Learning is about learning by doing, for example, getting involved with helping to solve ‘new’ problems, and will also provide learning.
What should you be learning? It is important to keep up with new thinking in your area of interest. Find the key thinkers and read or hear what they have to say. Consider that and then integrate it into your thinking, maybe open conversations with them and widen their thinking as you widen yours. Conversation is as important to learning as private study.
I believe it is important to listen, read and think more widely. Thinking from other areas of interest will also add to your repertoire of topics. You can use them as a metaphor, for example using politics as a metaphor for leadership in business or using leading thinking in psychology to highlight ideas in motivation of teams. You may also be able to correlate ideas with your area of interest and thus, by widening your area of interest, you will be able to add commentary way beyond the obvious.
You have to be interested to be interesting. No-one will read a writer who doesn’t also read or listen to a speaker who doesn’t listen to others. In order to include more people in your thinking, your opinions and ideas are best developed in a wider context. It has always been so and always will be. When someone uses that tired old phrase ‘thinking outside the box’, this is what they really mean.
Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) – He has 43 years’ experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at www.chiefexecutive.com.
The Academy community provides a great place to build your leadership skills and learn more about motivating and developing your people, and how to focus the top team for the good of your company. As the leading providers of experiential learning, the purpose of the Academy is to inspire leaders to achieve their dreams by sharing and learning from real life experiences.