How Continuous Learning Shapes Leadership

What will be new for you in 2021? What do you hope to accomplish? How will you get there?

I saw a quote on social media recently about excuses, which wrapped up with the following:

We all know what we need to do, but most people still don’t do it because it is hard to go out of our own comfort zone and it’s easier to just make excuses.

I challenge you in the new year, regardless of where you are in your career and what you’re looking to do, to ask yourself – am I passionate about what I am doing? Do I feel energized? What do I want to learn next? Give yourself honest answers. What are you going to do to diversify your skills, expand your knowledge of your role, the global marketplace, and the world around you?

As you reflect on the answers to these questions, remind yourself that learning should never end.

Harvard Business Review published an article titled The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners. It cites a speech delivered in 1990 by author and professor John W. Gardner, focusing on a leader’s personal responsibility for “self-renewal.” He said, “Be interested…boredom is the secret ailment of large-scale organizations…There is a myth that learning is for young people. But as the proverb says, ‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’”

How will you learn?

In my colleague Chuck Mollor’s new best-selling book, The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift? he says, “If you are listening, you are learning. Some people may argue that being curious is a natural characteristic, but as a leader you need to be committed to learning…Ironically, when you stop listening and stop learning, no one listens to you”. This could never be truer than in our current, constantly evolving environment.

Oxford Economics’ Workforce 2020 study demonstrates a key leadership principle:  Great leadership requires a deep, personal commitment to continuous learning. Leaders at all levels must hold themselves accountable to seek knowledge from new sources, push themselves to learn new skills, and embrace a broader range of perspectives.

Incorporating learning into your everyday activities may require a change in habits, but one that’s worth the effort. People who don’t push themselves to continuously learn fail to cultivate new ideas, obtain new perspectives, and improve their skills. By learning something new every day, you will see endless opportunities with your team, your clients, and, most of all, yourself.

Wishing you all the best in your learning path and the opportunities it leads you to.

  1. an independent, global study by Oxford Economics

Want to learn more about learning your leadership agility? The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift? 

About MCG Partners

MCG Partners is a leadership and talent optimization firm– aligning your business and people strategy for maximum results. MCG Partners a woman-owned consultancy and is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner. To learn more please contact Stephanie Holmgren at stephanie.holmgren@mcgpartners.com and at mcgpartners.com

Read Chuck's latest book: The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift. Click to read more about it.

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