Are you looking to feel alive, really alive, and wondering how to do it? Are you looking to be a leader in your field, and wondering how to do it? Are you wondering what these two questions have in common? I’m here to say, to stay live, and to be a leader in your field, the key element is learning, and re-learning.
When my grandmother was alive, I used to go over to the senior living community where she lived, and I was continually amazed at how alive the people there seemed, especially for being so old. And I was also amazed at how some of the oldest looking people were actually some of the youngest people in the building. Their secret? They kept learning new things, new games, new hobbies, and kept meeting new people, and this kept them young. The ones that stayed in their rooms and didn’t socialize, or didn’t try new things, got older faster than the ones who were actively learning new things.
Think about the people in your network. Who do you want to invest the most time with? Do you want to be with the person who hasn’t picked up a book since high school, or the person who is continually reading new articles, who’s learning new hobbies, who’s sharing what they know with you and encouraging you to learn more? Unless you’re one of those people who are annoyed by people who know more than you do, I’ll bet you enjoy the company of the person with the new ideas, the one that’s full of life, energy and knowledge.
What does all of this have to do with leading and leadership? EVERYTHING. If you’re a leader, and you’re not staying ahead of the times by learning new things in new ways, you’re soon to be an extinct leader. And if you’re extinct, you’re dead.
So in order to live, you must learn, and in order to lead, you must learn. So live”learn”lead! It’ll change your life and help you Make It Great!
Phil Gerbyshak writes most days over at Make It Great!, though you can also find him over the the Blog Synergy and in comments around the blogosphere. A self-defined "relationship geek," Phil is always looking for new ways to create and deepen connections. Sign up for his weekly Make it Great! Gazette for a weekly dose of inspiration and learning. You can also pick up a copy of his first book 10 Ways to Make It Great! for a work-it-book that can help you take your life from good…to GREAT!