The world has lost it a little bit lately. Leaders are pushing for everyone to work harder, make more phone calls and produce more numbers. It is all direct effort to a direct result. Few will trust the correlation of learning and knowledge to a better place or outcome. In leadership, you have to teach the right things and trust that people do the right things — it’s very simple. Because knowledge equals everything!
We all would rather run a 100 yard dash each day than train for the marathon! And today there is even less time. So we run like Forest Gump. We just run and run without even knowing why.
We must trust if I invest in you as your leader that the business will get some inherent value from it. But this is not the case as of late. The recession has depressed and altered the traditional career path, and with it, the importance of the learning curve. People want certain things in their career and we know it’s not only about money, it’s not only about benefits. With a learning curve we are challenged &mdash’ it means we are tested. It means we get to work at something. It means using your mind. We get choice projects. We get the difficult challenge. We get to do more than our job description says! What happens when the learning curve stops? Everything stops. The person stops learning and soon the company stops too. As the saying goes, when we are not growing we are closer to death; this goes for the company and the employee! When the learning curve goes down, the company goes down. If the learning curve goes up, than the company results can go up too!
So one of the things that people really need is to continue to learn. Knowledge equals confidence and self-esteem. That’s what it means, and if people have that kind of confidence and self-esteem, they are more likely to do the things that produce results. If you have more knowledge you get more results. With confidence you make better decisions, take risks and you are more innovative, more creative, more tolerant, more disciplined. You trust that your results will be superior. You must trust that intangibles will turn into results!
This application also applies to more than business. It’s directly relevant to children doing better in school. The school system teaches kids to get a certain grade; it rarely teaches them to learn, retain and use the knowledge provided. Parents usually reward on just grades, not what is learned or applied. I have often thought about this with my son who is always “bored” with school and has the C’s and occasional D’s to prove it. As he leaned over my shoulder while I was writing this blog, he had a real light bulb go off. He might want to use what he learns some day! And it might help him get the career he wants or to have hobbies that interest him. And just maybe his grades will improve now!
If you are a small business owner or leader now is the time to differentiate and invest in the learning curve for your people and your organization!
Next post about how a leader can utilize the Holidays to their advantage!