As a leader, you are who people in your organisation look to for guidance, and this means you’re also a big influence on the tone and culture of your workplace. With the almost constant changes to technology, business climate and the marketplace, you need to be able to quickly adapt when necessary, or risk the high likelihood of failure. You might think you don’t have any time spare to keep up with all the changes we face in this modern era, but I’m here to tell you that you can’t afford NOT to. And how do you do this? By always leadership learning.
You can’t have leadership without learning; they’re indispensable of each other and it’s pivotal to have a growth mindset if you want yourself and your team to be successful. A great leader knows that they aren’t always right and that there’s always something new for them to learn or an old skill that needs refreshing. By seeking out new information, you’re making an effort to challenge your beliefs and assumptions, which gives you more knowledge and enables you to handle situations more effectively thanks to broadening your mind.
You’ve probably encountered leaders in your career who are set in their ways; they believe they always know best and aren’t open to different points of view or new experiences that could challenge their way of thinking. These leaders, who decided at some arbitrary point that they were done with learning, are usually the ones who come to mind when you think of poor leadership and bad bosses, and they more of than not have a detrimental effect on the culture of their workplace as well. A company and its people cannot flourish if they aren’t allowed to grow and explore, and a closed-minded leader ensures that there is no real room for anyone to grow and develop to their true potential.
A leader who not only makes time for learning but encourages their team to do so as well is setting a fantastic example and fostering a positive workplace environment and culture. By demonstrating the importance of, and a love of, learning, a leader is influencing their team to open their minds and improve themselves professionally and personally.
Not all learning can be done in the workplace, and so it’s crucial that you take time off the floor to sharpen your leadership saw. A great way to do this is by attending workshops, seminars, etc. – and organising for your team to attend them is another excellent way to foster their development.
I always say the more seriously you take your self-development, the more seriously others will take you.
Here are some other ways you can improve your leadership by learning:
Audiobooks and podcasts
Listening to these on your daily commute is a really simple way to fit in learning without making extra time in your day. A lot of your favourite authors and speakers are creating audiobooks and podcasts, and you’ll discover new favourites too. Here are some of my favourites.
TED Talks are one of my favourite examples of visual learning. So many wonderful, inspiring people have given TED Talks, and they’re such a valuable source of information. You can also go to places like YouTube for instructional videos to sharpen your skills.
Polish up skills and revise what you already know
It’s not always about learning new things; relearning is also incredibly important. You may not remember everything from a class you took years ago, so take the time to revise and you’ll improve the skills you had nearly forgotten.
Dod you know the world’s greatest CEO’s and Leaders are always reading? This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t just mean reading books. Articles, blogs, opinions on message boards – there are so many things to read that aren’t books, but will still expand your mind. I love following Harvard Business Review and here is a list of my favourite Leadership Books.
There are many online courses and programs you can take today which are amazing. Most are self-paced or facilitated online by a trainer. I have launched a Courageous Leadership Courage (Self-Paced) and Group Coaching Program.
I urge you to make the effort to start learning every day because it’s a habit that will serve you well both personally and professionally. There are many ways to incorporate learning into your day-to-day life, and continuous learning will see you become a great, effective leader who can roll with the punches, come up with fresh ideas, sharpen their skills and gain new perspectives. To be a leader who makes a difference, you must be a learner as well.
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Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE.
Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.
She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.
Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.
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