Leadership Is About Learning

Learning is important to our growth and development as business leaders, and it’s through this growth and development that we cultivate a culture of learning within our businesses. There are always new skills to master and new technology to learn, and we become leaders in our industries when we learn all these things. What’s more, empowering employees to continue to learn new skills sets many organizations apart and creates a culture of professional development.
While 73 percent of American adults consider themselves to be lifelong learners, half fear missing out on learning opportunities and how that will affect their growth and skills. There are lifelong benefits to learning, and those benefits can help build careers and companies. Sixty-four percent of people who learned something new also made new friends in the process, and this is precisely the kind of networking that careers are built on.
Learning also helps people adapt to changes in their job field or job market. How many people are still doing a job the same way they were the day they were hired? Business is about growing and keeping up with changes in an industry. Even doctors have to take continuing education courses on a regular basis—and it’s not like the human body has changed that much over time.
Learning new things recharges us and gives us a new sense of accomplishment. It can inspire us to seek out new opportunities or ways of doing things that can make us leaders in our industries. Fostering a culture of learning within our companies also helps to empower employees to take the lead on new developments in our industries.
Science evens shows how accomplishments make our brains grow. Every time we try something new, it causes a chemical reaction in our brains. As a signal repeats between two neurons, it forms a permanent connection. Later, when one neuron is activated the other one is activated too. This is where innovation happens. The more knowledge you have connected in your brain, the more ideas you can access when faced with a new challenge. Over time it becomes easier for our brains to do the work we need to do to be successful.
According to Pareto’s Principle, just 20 percent of your efforts lead to 80 percent of your desired results. Investing in learning and professional development pays off in dividends for every member of your team as well as the company.
So how do you start prioritizing learning and professional development? Make time for lunch & learn sessions, even those that pertain to topics in employees’ personal lives such as financial literacy. Empower employees to attend virtual or in-person training sessions that pertain to their departments. Offer financial assistance and incentives for those who wish to continue their education.
Teach employees the DISS method to learn skills quickly as well:
  • Deconstruction—breaking it down into smaller tasks
  • Selection—choosing which tasks to focus on
  • Sequencing—determine the order in which to learn tasks for optimal performance
  • Stakes—know what’s on the line if there’s a failure and that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow
Learn more about the value of learning and professional development from the infographic below.