Accelerating Learning

By Kevin Eikenberry

The world is changing, faster than ever. While this can be exciting news for an achievement minded person, like you, it also causes a challenge: it is much more difficult to be truly great at anything.

If we want to be highly effective, successful, and productive, we must accelerate our learning. Here is five step process you can use to get good at anything:

A Model for Great Success

  • Identify role modes in order to determine best practice
  • Learn and incorporate the best practices
  • Find ways to further improve by experimenting with the best practices
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Implement improvements

You as a new frontline supervisor can incorporate these practices to become a better leader. While this process has not changed in effectiveness over the last several hundred years, our ability to assimilate best practices keeps getting harder.

The Challenge

Applying this process is becoming more and more challenging because the sheer volume of information out there continues to grow exponentially. The bar to be great continues to rise. So if we want to be ahead of the pack, we must continue to exceed and move ahead of the bar.

Accelerating Our Learning

There are four pieces of advice to follow in order to address the need to accelerate our learning in the real world. So, what can we do in to meet the demands of learning in a constantly changing world and workplace?

  1. Say “Yes, and.” We can not rely on just one way to learn just because we prefer it. We will accelerate our learning when we expand the number of sources and avenues from which we gain insight, knowledge, and inspiration. We should probably read more. Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day, Bill Gates reads 50 books a day. Warren Buffet says 80% of his day is spent reading Rather than believing that they can read because they have their roles, consider that they have their roles because they read. Rather than believing that they can read because they have their roles, consider that they have their roles because they read.
  2. Extend External Focus We must look to other experts, mentors, and more, through watching, listening, reading, interviewing, and more, in order to further our own learning.
  3. Focus It is important to understand that while we can’t know it all, we can choose to focus. By focusing on specifics, for example, being a better leader, you can work on one specific area at a time. Here are two examples on how to focus your learning goals in video, and in writing to help you think more about this.
  4. Connect to Principles When learning new ideas, techniques, and approaches, be sure to connect it with what you already know. If you connect these ideas to what you know, the learning will come quicker and will be more valuable.

If you are interested in focusing on improving your leadership skills, check out Virtual LeaderCon. It is a free four day event, with one day focused on Communication and one day focused on Culture. You can learn from experts and get your questions answered.


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