What is your strategy for learning? I’m huge on personal and professional development, so I loved this question when I saw it on Twitter. I’ve developed myself in my career by reading an average of 12 books a year for 20 years.
I started my sales position right out of college, which I built into my career at Service Express. I developed from Sales Manager to Vice President of Sales, President, and now CEO. I wasn’t taught how to do any of these roles. In college I learned how to learn, and outside of college I continued to learn and apply that knowledge to my specific field.
Reading 12 books a year for 20 years adds up to a lot, but my strategy has evolved over the years. I used to say, “leaders are readers,” and think that you had to read to remember and apply things. One of my best practices is reading on my Kindle and highlighting passages on it, which creates a summary that I can save and go back to later. Some of the books I read are so timeless and classic it’s good to go back and be reminded.
Now I also incorporate audible learning while driving. Sometimes I listen to books, but often I listen to podcasts. I have a few favorites: How I Built This, Scaling Up, and Prof G Media. While I still like to read, podcasts are how I feed my brain when I’m in my vehicle. I also learn from conferences, magazine articles, Twitter, online articles, and information from my team.
There are many ways to learn, and it’s important to recognize your own. We promote professional development at Service Express, and what I really want is for somebody to have a strategy for learning. Like your strategy for working out or eating healthy, be intentional about it, purposeful and consistent. Whatever it is, and whatever your goal may be, you should have a strategy. Learning is no different. I encourage you to think about your learning strategy. What is it? How do you learn best?
It’s still early in the second quarter, and there’s lots of time to get after it. Make sure to learn, grow and develop continuously!