To The Future Leaders: In The Course Of Your Journey, Always Keep Learning

Leadership Lesson: In order to get better, continue evolving, and refine our development, we need to take on and utilize as much valuable knowledge as we can.

In this previous post, I introduced this current series which covers a top-ten list of ideas I had provided to students at Quest 2017, a one-day summit hosted at Southern Connecticut State University by Connecticut’s Chapter of Prospanica, in partnership with its community and corporate partners. The annual event is filled with motivational presentations, speakers, and workshops providing students with tools for the next chapter in their lives.

The list is made up of tips students should consider as they continue on in their life, work, and careers and is made up of some of the top items on The Self 60.

While the items on The Self 60 tend to be more specific, these items allow for the lesson to be broadened and more encompassing.

In each post I provide general information about the item and a breakdown of what it is, why it’s important, where to get it, and why the item made this top-ten list.

In this post, the item I’ll be breaking down is…

Always Keep Learning

General Info / What it is…

It means to always continue expanding your knowledge, understanding, and clarity. It is education both in the formal and informal settings, classroom and real-world experiences.

No matter where you are, what industry you work in, or who you’re working with, there is always the opportunity to gain more ground and advantage by better understanding the environment, factors, and people at play.

Why it’s important…

Continual learning allows you to progress and evolve. You get better. You get sharper. You are not today who you were yesterday, and you tomorrow will be better than you are today.

That constant changing and development ensures you’re not standing still, ready to be overtaken by the environment and players around you. You’re prepared for both your environment today and your environment tomorrow, whether they differ from one day to the next or remain the same.

Ongoing learning is also key because your desire for knowledge is a demonstrative skill for others to note. People understand that the desire to learn can oftentimes be more important than what someone already knows, that someone can bring things to the table but also still be open to building his or her knowledge/skill set and creating additional value.

Where to get it…

It’s an advantage to get this overall attitude toward knowledge and learning earlier in life. It’s even more advantageous for someone to help us do a deep dive into why the knowledge is important. “This will really help you in your future” or “Because this is what everyone has to do” are not going to cut it. Go beyond the words when trying to paint for someone the picture of why getting better through knowledge is both in their best interest and in that of those they care about and are charged with.

Related Post: Mentorships Are The Connections That Bring All The Pieces Together

Specifically, where to get it? Look around you. There’s a good chance you have a computer, a book, a television set, or a person within reach. Aside from formal education, you can search for information online, read a book on whatever topic interests you, watch informational programming on TV, or pick the brain of anyone you’re curious to learn about. All these tools exist outside of the main foundation for learning – formal education.

The avenues for learning are all around us, there for the taking.

Why It’s a Top-10 Item On The Self 60…

This is a marquee item off of the Self 60 because it is a foundational tool for making our world and the world of those around us better.

Learning allows us to take in the information first, while allowing us to reshape, retool, and share it later. The more we take in, the more we give. Constant evolution.

None of the other items on The Self 60 can be effective if we don’t sharpen – and continue to sharpen — our tools for understanding the material, environment, and information around us.

Learning should never stop, even after we’re done with formal schooling. The best part of finishing any form of schooling is that after we complete our studies and the required readings and classes, we can then go on to refine what it is we specifically want to learn about.

And, again, learning is not only about ourselves. What we build in knowledge is also a repository of information and dependability for others as we go. It contributes to that constant need to pay it forward to those we’re responsible for. We need to leave things better than we found them.

Sharing with others that knowledge allows us to continue learning; the information may be going in one direction as we teach, but we are refining and practicing what we know and who we are through that process of sharing. That refinement is a form of learning.

Knowledge, like anything else, will not always come to you. Be curious, and seek it out.

Never settle. Always keep pushing yourself, every day improving.

The Top Ten (in no particular order)

  1. Find your Driver(s) & Motivation(s)
  2. All Your Experiences Structure Your Path Forward
  3. Get An Accountability Partner
  4. Position Yourself For Your Success
  5. Your Worth & Value – Know It / Build It / Provide It / Live It
  6. Face Your Weaknesses & Fears
  7. Always Keep Learning
  8. Develop Your Awareness – Of Self & Others
  9. Be Part Of & Contribute To Your Community
  10. Do Not Wait For Life To Come To You

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