Why Learning is an Important Leadership Skill

Q: Besides being famous, what do Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, and Shaquille O’Neal have in common?

A: They’re leaders who have wholeheartedly embraced lifelong learning.

Walt, Ben, and Shaq realized that leadership and learning go hand in hand – even beyond the studio, lab, or basketball court. For example, in the business world, continual learning gives managers and executives an edge over competitors.

If you want to boost your success and growth as a leader, here are five reasons to put learning at the top of your priority list:

1. Stay on top of change.

Trends and technology in your industry change on a dime. If you’re not keeping up with what’s new – and what’s next – you’ll quickly fall behind. However, you choose to acquire knowledge, staying at the leading edge helps you be proactive rather than reactive.

2. Keep your skills up to date.

When your skills are current and relevant, you can confidently pass critical knowledge and soft skills to your staff. What’s more, keeping your skills up to date sends a clear message that learning is a priority, and paves the way for building a learning culture.

3. Think outside the box.

Phrases like “We’ve always done it this way” and “That’ll never work” are antithetical to innovation. Cut them from your vocabulary. Instead, spend time brainstorming, thinking beyond your role/team/department, going on “field trips,” or trying other thought-provoking activities that spur creative thinking. You’ll expand your knowledge and broaden your perspective – both of which are beneficial to your growth as a leader.

4. Become more well-rounded and self-aware.

The process of determining where your knowledge or skills gaps require careful introspection; the result of that reflection is a better understanding of who you are – and where you want to go professionally.

5. Strengthen your personal brand.

Creating a strong professional reputation is essential to developing credibility as a leader; people naturally want to follow authentic and knowledgeable people in their field. The more you know about your industry (and the trends shaping it), your competitors, and relevant technology, the more people will trust and respect your opinion.

7 Ways to Learn as a Leader

  1. Read: books, eBooks, blogs, industry publications
  2. Attend: workshops, webinars, seminars
  3. Listen: audiobooks, podcasts
  4. Network: with people inside and outside your organization
  5. Brainstorming: group or individual
  6. Formal education: individual classes or degrees
  7. Mentorship: find one or become one

Great leaders need great support.

Whether you need flexible staffing solutions, or qualified, reliable employees who will thrive in your workplace, PrideStaff is ready to help. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to get started.

Related post:

Essential Leadership Qualities of the Modern Manager