Ever feel like you’re endlessly running a marathon, struggling to stay abreast of the latest tech advancements, adapting to the evolving expectations of your customers, and navigating the shifting mandates and business expectations of your organization?
Trust me. I’m in the same boat. Just as I’m relishing the satisfaction of mastering a new skill, another emerging platform or app emerges, demanding my attention to skill-up in order to ensure I remain relevant in my career. The thrill of staying updated is undeniable, but the challenges and fatigue of always trying to keep a step ahead in our dynamic workplaces are equally real.
After a lively Q&A session with a team of leaders after my talk on ‘Becoming More Agile in the Face of Change by Elevating Your Learning Quotient,’ a recurring concern emerged: and it’s one I often hear, which is that there are simply not enough hours in a day for their teams to both fulfill their job responsibilities and carve out time for further learning and skill enhancement.
I find myself pushing back when leaders mention this time constraint; I prompt them to dig deeper. Is it truly about the number of hours available in a workday, or is it more about how those hours are prioritized?
Future-Proofing: Today’s Investment, Tomorrow’s Triumph!
All good leaders understand how crucial it is to help their teams skill up their current capabilities to better meet the demands of their demanding and ever-changing job scope. Yet, many miss the importance of the work needed to help their team embrace future-ready skills, as the need to improve current skills is so overbearing.
Great leaders understand the pivotal role of continuous learning for both personal and professional advancement. They prioritize it to address their teams’ immediate challenges but also to equip them for future successes.
Taking the time now to hone these future-ready skills presents a win-win scenario for everyone involved. For businesses, it’s about staying innovative and primed for whatever the future holds. For employees, mastering these skills not only boosts job stability but also paves the way for fresh career paths and personal development. Committing to a culture of continuous learning today ensures a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow for the organization and its valued team members.
Learning Out Loud: How Leaders Light the Way
As I speak and interact with leaders about the essential work that is needed to build a culture of learning that supports future-ready employees, there’s one thing I hammer home every time: the transformative power of leaders who not only “walk the talk” but also ensure their teams see it. It’s one thing to be dedicated to self-improvement; it’s another to make that journey visible.
Think of it as sharing your recipe, not just the finished dish.Think of it as sharing your recipe, not just the finished dish
When a leader is visibly committed to their personal growth, it serves as a powerful motivation for their team to do the same. Take Satya Nadella at Microsoft, for example. He doesn’t just spout the virtues of a growth mindset; he lives it out loud. As shared in his book “Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone.” he explains how he dives into conversations about the latest book he devoured, mulls over fresh insights from a workshop, or even share a personal tale of when he tripped up and learned from it as part of his daily conversations with his team.
Leaders must regularly share stories of their learning experiences, the challenges they’ve faced, the new skills they’ve acquired, and most importantly, the benefits they’ve reaped. By doing so, they not only set the gold standard but also make the abstract concept of “lifelong learning” tangible for their teams.
John F. Kennedy famously said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” To truly inspire teams, leaders must be the first to enroll in a new course, pick up a new book, or attend a seminar. They should be open about their learning journey, discussing the insights they gain and how these insights impact their decision-making processes.
If you’re interested in helping your team identify their individual level of learnability, in partnership with My Mentored Learning, we’ve created a FREE assessment you can use. The Learnability Assessment measures an individual’s capacity and willingness to acquire new skills, knowledge, and capabilities quickly. In today’s constantly changing landscape, organizations need employees who can adapt and evolve professionally to facilitate change. This assessment helps identify an individual’s ability to grow, develop and remain employable throughout their career by recognizing when their skills are no longer relevant and proactively developing new ones for future success. By measuring an individual’s learnability, organizations can identify employees who are best suited to adapt to changing environments and drive growth within the organization.
Today’s Training, Tomorrow’s Triumph
True leadership hinges on inspiring teams to see the importance of continuous learning. It’s about allocating time daily to refine skills, explore new tools, and improve interpersonal skills like communication or conflict resolution. This journey may require some short-term trade-offs, perhaps a slight dip in immediate productivity. However, the dedication to ongoing learning and development has a promising future payoff, ensuring long-term success and growth.
If you’re a leader keen on fostering even more innovative learnings for your personal growth and development, I invite you to explore my collection of 21 leadership courses. Hosted on the Pluralsight platform, these courses are tailored to equip leaders with modern insights and strategies for the ever-evolving workplace. Dive in and amplify your leadership journey today.”