Either for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or even the average staff in any organization, the beauty and benefits of continuous learning for enhanced knowledge, understanding, skill, competence, capability and professionalism cannot be overemphasized.
In an increasingly competitive world where changes are constant, with various emerging realities, continuous learning is a major way of ensuring adaptability and strategic positioning, to stay ahead of the curve, or, at the very least, not to be lost in the crowd and eventually thrown out of business.
Learning through attending events such as conferences, masterclasses, seminars e.t.c and learning from mentoring (as a mentor or mentee), experience sharing, reading and learning from interviewing achievers or purposefully chatting with them, enables you to stay ahead of the curve.
In pursuit of some of the above benefits, for instance, I recently interviewed the Group Deputy Managing Director of Kewalram Chanrai -Mr. Victor Eburajolo. In my first question to him, on why at 74, he is still working? His reply was quite enlightening. He stated inter-alia: “……Let me also say that, despite my age, one thing I ensure that I do is constant reading. See, what most people don’t know is that you don’t stop reading because you grow old. You grow old when you stop reading. This is because you are not exercising your brain. You are not eager to learn. You are contented and you just sit down”.
So, don’t be contented and just sit down. Be intentional and purposeful about learning. Corporate events of all types are ways of learning from others and identifying your business challenges. Attend as many as you can.
There are books you should read (spending time in traffic becomes an advantage here) and experts you should endeavour to talk to. You must Google what is trending and not be silent when your peers are speaking about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Supply Chain Management, ChatGPT and OpenAI amongst others. Learning helps you improve, updates you and enables you to review your goals.
As the CEO for instance, you should have access to virtual libraries, and reading materials that are available online. Encourage your staff in your workplace to do the same. You can suggest that they visit brick-and-mortar bookstores, such as Roving Heights, Patabah Books, Quintessence, Laterna Ventures etc. You can suggest that they browse online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Spine and Label, etc to help your team.
It is important to stress that Learning may demand SACRIFICE. Henry Longfellow said:
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight; but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night”.Henry Longfellow
Yes, learning requires putting some things aside. It comes at a cost. It certainly requires discipline to create the time and pay the price among other imperatives. It is popularly said that nothing good comes easy. So it is with learning.
Either for performance or promotion, learning sets a bar between two equally gifted people. Even in leadership, learning positions a leader far above his subordinates, earning him due reverence. So, the sacrifice for learning is quite worthwhile.
Now that you know the benefits of learning continuously, purposefully, and intentionally, the ball is in your court. It is time to make the move.