Hi there everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
We recently wrote a blog on the 5-hour rule, which looks at strategies for learning. It’s used by many world leaders and public figures to enhance their knowledge and skills. (by the way, If you’d like to read it, I’ll pop the link in the transcript of this podcast).
While I was writing, it made me think about the intrinsic value of lifelong learning, and how truly embracing lifelong learning can help develop and grow your leadership ability.
So, in this podcast, I’m going to talk about how embracing lifelong learning – in whatever format works for you – is crucial to success.
First, though, if you are new here… welcome!
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So, let’s get into today’s subject: lifelong learning.
Firstly, what do I mean by ‘lifelong learning’?
Does it bring to mind classroom-based instruction or long hours at a corporate training day?
While company-organised training does logically form part of lifelong learning (and more on this shortly), lifelong learning also incorporates self-initiated education, focusing on personal development.
This kind of voluntary learning achieves positive results – because you get to choose what you learn when you learn and how you learn it.
The Benefit of Lifelong Learning
In a way, we’re all lifelong learners; every day, you will learn something new – guaranteed.
For leaders, an innate sense of curiosity often drives them to want to expand on this natural everyday learning, amplifying and increasing their knowledge.
This provides the benefit of not just a better understanding of themselves and others, making them better at leading their team, but offers personal fulfilment too.
Lifelong learning enables you to develop your natural interest and curiosity to learn new things, explore new options and become more creative as a result — all traits of great leaders.
Learning at Work
The knowledge economy in today‘s workplace is moving at an ever-increasing pace, and therefore lifelong learning is seen by many organisations as a core component of employee development.
Work-based lifelong learning is for all employees – from leaders to temporary staff, its critical to ensure everyone has access to continuous learning opportunities.
A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 87 per cent of workers believe it will be essential for them to get training and develop new skills throughout their working life to keep up with future trends in the workplace.
For the individual, work-based learning often leads to formal qualifications and other educational credentials which are directly related to their role. This provides the opportunity for career progression as well as the ability to remain flexible and agile in their current job role.
For your organisation, it enables the business to remain competitive and relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Alongside work-based learning is personal learning.
This is more about recognising your own goals and interests. You could choose to focus on your passions and plans for your future, such as learning a language to enable you to apply for an international job role or improving your public speaking style to help you gain a promotion.
It can be directly related to your current role – for example, you might choose to further develop soft skills such as critical thinking, communication or emotional intelligence. As well as making you a more ‘rounded’ individual, honing these skills will help you become a better leader.
Committing to lifelong learning will enable you to become more focused, motivated, organised and relevant. And learning will provide insight into new ideas, new and different ways of thinking and interacting with others.
All excellent skills for a leader!
So, what lessons can we learn from this?
The bottom line is that lifelong learning is essential to all of us, but especially so for leaders.
Leaders are, primarily, teachers. Your role as a leader is to nurture, strengthen and inform, creating a culture that enables your team to move forward on their career pathway.
A leader who embraces all that lifelong learning has to offer will be able to demonstrate an innovative, relevant, thoughtful and expedient leadership style that will benefit everyone they come into contact with.
Until next time!
About Excel Communications
LEARN, GROW, SUCCEED
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the UK. For more than 30 years, we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.
We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.
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