Why Leaders Should be Lifelong Learners

A funny thing happens while you are young and living your life. If you are lucky, countless people will give you advice and lessons they have learned throughout their lifetime. Of course, not all of it is going to be applicable or even right, but I have found that if you are around people that care about you, most of the time it is valuable information. As you go throughout life and step into leadership positions, these lessons can prove incredibly impactful.

Any words of wisdom you’ve received popping into your mind as you read this article?

One of the things I was told while I was young was to read a lot of books and learn about the world. Now I really disliked reading and wasn’t that big of a fan of doing any extra “schoolwork.” So I read whatever was necessary for school and that was it. Fast forward 10 years and I love reading. I use it as an escape from the real world and most importantly to further grow in myself. Turns out it was great advice.

Look up the habits of successful leaders; many will say they read voraciously! 

Looking back, if I could have read one book per month I would've read 120 more books! I loved to learn and now am learning so much by reading. All of these different books! To me this cause  growth, and I know my growth of a wrestler, coach and husband would be great if I had started reading more at a young age, so I will continue to give that advice to young people.

Another valuable tip that I ignored for a while was to be a student of wrestling and really learn the different positions, especially the areas where I wasn’t as good. Now, you may not be a wrestler, but the overall lesson still applies to you, no matter what area of life you pursue. 

Instead of following those directions, I usually honed my skills in the areas I was already really good at. Now that wasn’t a bad thing, and I was very good at my specific skills, but now as a retired athlete with multiple years of learning every position of the sport of wrestling, I feel my wrestling knowledge is better than ever. 

In wrestling, most people are too scared to give up any position to learn another position. This happens even in practice, so it is hard to learn some of these more advanced skills. As I have learned myself, I will push my athletes to broaden their wrestling knowledge as I know it will help them more than they can imagine right now.

Have you neglected learning about other parts of your profession? What springs to mind? Don’t keep ignoring them and living with regret. 

Now I am dedicated to being a lifelong learner. I was never inspired while studying in school, but I loved learning. I will continue to learn from the past and the people around me because I have seen firsthand how it can make my life better and more enjoyable. 

The world is a big and complicated place with millions of stories to be told every day. It’s amazing what you can learn when you dive into different subjects that interest you!  If you’re a leader, never stop learning. The results will be well, well worth it. If you don’t believe me, try learning about even one new aspect related to your profession where you lead.

Once you do, you’ll get exactly what I’m talking about. 
 

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.