Article: The importance of constant learning for leaders

Learning & Development

The importance of constant learning for leaders

Making learning a habit and incorporating it in every tasks is always worth the effort. Without learning, your ideas stagnate, and your innovation capacity takes a plunge for the worse.
The importance of constant learning for leaders

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." - Henry Ford

Change and growth are associated with learning more deeply than we give them credit for. Letting your weaknesses unchecked with excuses is the worst possible thing that you can do to your future. Some people blame the boss, some blame the job, some blame the work environment, yet others just refuse to accept that change and growth can come from learning new skills. It doesn’t matter what skill set you have, your future depends on the fact that you keep learning constantly. 

Leaders, most of all, need to maintain a constant learning streak, not only to remain relevant in the present and the future, but also to grow their leadership skills. Here are a few reasons why constant learning is far more important for leaders.

Know yourself

The first step to personal and professional growth is to understand and know yourself thoroughly. Continuous learning enables you to do that by moving you from being an unconscious decision maker to a conscious decision maker. To begin making this transition, you need to learn about yourself by obtaining feedback from your closest circle of people. This helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and what people around you would like to see you do to maintain your respectable position among them.

Analyze the feedback

When you receive the feedback, you have to understand that it may not have reached you in the clearest of terms. Analyze and decode it, so that you may learn something about yourself that you need to work on. Sort out the feedback into categories that reflect your personality and enables you to delve deeper into areas of your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Your clear strengths 
  • Your hidden strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Blindspots within the comfort zone
  • Uncharted areas outside your comfort zone

Grade the feedback

Once you have decoded the feedback, you need to grade it according to your short and long term priorities. Whether you are looking for career growth within your current role or looking for new opportunities, you need to know which of your strengths and improvement areas can help or impede your growth. Once you have that information, you can mold your learning accordingly to accommodate those needs. This way, your learning efforts are rewarded in the form of eliminating your weaknesses one after the other.

Focus on strengths, but not too much

Focusing too much on your strengths turns them into a weakness while leaving you vulnerable with your existing weaknesses. For example, if analytics is your strong point and you use it in almost every possible situation, you may end up being seen as a fault-finder rather than a thorough analyser. You would never expect such a result from using a strength and it is bound to catch you off-guard. Learning constantly enables you to see it coming and ensures that you don’t overuse your strengths. It also allows you to see how you can balance your strengths or at least neutralize them enough and not allow over use to hurt your position among peers and subordinates.

Managing weaknesses

Knowing and understanding your weaknesses is half the battle. Once you know what you lack, you can compensate for it by filling in the gaps or learning new skills. Either way, you plug the gaps in your skill set only by learning and adapting constantly. A well-scripted learning and development plan can help you by defining the key milestones that the process needs to help you achieve.

  • Identify tasks that help you develop skills in your weak spots
  • Getting feedback from peers and superiors to gauge the progress
  • Practice as much as required to turn the learning into a habit

A well-structured learning plan can help you maintain a competitive advantage. Sustaining that competitive edge requires you to seek new information, process it so that it can become knowledge, and apply it. 

Making learning a habit and incorporating it in every tasks is always worth the effort. Without learning, your ideas stagnate, and your innovation capacity takes a plunge for the worse. Learning something new everyday keeps you relevant to your team and your clients, and most of all, it enriches you with knowledge and new skills. It may not seem to be much when you begin, but the results will surprise you and the people around you, whether it’s your subordinates, your peers or your superiors.

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Topics: Learning & Development

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