Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman offer a different explanation of what the differences are between average and great supervisors and managers. In First Break All The Rules (FBA) the authors write: The greatest managers in the world do not have much in common…They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. But despite their differences, these great managers do share one thing: Before they do anything else, they first break all the rules of conventional wisdom. They do not believe that a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help a person overcome his weaknesses. They consistently disregard the Golden Rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. The authors say that talented employees need great managers to reach their potential. Rather than trying to coach improved performance based on weakness, these great managers work on their employees’ strengths. And, that, according to the authors, is what separates the good from the great managers.
Great leaders are Professional Life long learners
As we enter into the 21st century, the information age, your ability to expand your mind and strive for continuous education is critical to your success. By dedicating yourself to lifelong learning, you can leapfrog ahead of your competition.
The highest paid people in America today work an average of 59 hours per week. They read an average of 2-3 hours per day. They belong to industry associations and organizations that encourage the individual to dedicate themselves to lifelong learning with current information and ideas on their fields. Continuous education for them means that they attend annual conventions and go to every session available that has new insights that can help them to be more effective in getting the results for which they are responsible.
The Importance Of Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning is the minimum requirement for success in your field. Since information and knowledge in every field is doubling every 2-3 years, this means that your knowledge has to double every 2-3 years as well, just for you to stay even.
Expand Your Mind
This brings us to a very important point on intelligence, information, and lifelong learning. There are three different kinds of education that you can acquire, either deliberately or in a random, haphazard fashion. These three kinds of learning are maintenance learning, growth learning and shock learning.
This is the kind of learning that adds knowledge and skills to your repertoire that you did not have before. For example, if you decide to learn to speak Spanish so that you can expand your business opportunities into the Hispanic market, every word, phrase and sentence that you learn is a form of growth learning. Growth learning helps you expand your mind and you are acquiring information that you did not have before that enables you to do things that you could not do before. Some of the very best thinkers in the world today are producing some of the very best material and ideas that you can use for continuous education and to help you expand your mind. You can acquire this information and strive for lifelong learning by just reaching out your hand and picking it up in the form of books, articles, tapes and courses.
The Second type of learning is called shock learning. This is where something happens that contradicts or reverses a piece of knowledge or understanding that you already have. Shock learning can be extremely valuable if you act upon it. Peter Drucker, in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, says that the primary sources of innovation in a company are the unexpected success or the unexpected failure. Something happens that is completely inconsistent with the expectations, with what should have happened.
This “shock” can give you insights that can enable you to either take advantage of a major change in the marketplace or guard against a serious reversal. Unfortunately, most people are creatures of habit. When something happens that is completely unexpected, they choose to ignore it in favor of the old information with which they are more comfortable.
Dedicate Yourself to Continuous Education
Knowledge is the primary source of value in our world today and your ability to expand your mind and devote yourself to lifelong learning is the key to breaking any success barriers that may be in front of you.
I hope you are making room for continuous education in your life. Please feel free to share your tips on lifelong learning and how you expand your mind on a daily basis!
The World Keeps Changing
Despite what you’ve heard, old dogs can learn new tricks. Our world is fluid and things never stay the same. It’s important to continue learning so you can keep up. If you don’t, the world will pass you by.
To Develop Your Abilities
We’re all born with natural talents and abilities, but that doesn’t mean we’re masters of those talents the first time we try. Lifelong learners are always honing their skills and learning new ones.
To Open Your Mind
The more you learn, the more sides you’ll see of the same issue. Reading, watching intelligent television and holding conversations with others will educate you about other points of view. It may or may not change your mind, but it’ll help you to understand that there is more than one side to every issue.