Value your listening and reading time at roughly ten times your talking time. This will ensure that you are on a course for continuous learning and self-improvement – Gerald McGinnis Respironics Inc.
It is what you learn after you know it all that counts – John Wooden
Leaders face the danger of contentment with status quo. After all, if a leader already possesses influence and has achieved a level of respect, why should they keep growing? The answer is simple:
Your growth determines who you are
Who you are determines who you attract
Who you attract determines the success of the organization
If you want to grow the organization, you have to remain teachable
Here are five guidelines to help you cultivate and maintain a teachable attitude.
Cure Your Destination Disease
Ironically, lack of teachability is often rooted in achievement. Some people mistakenly believe that if they accomplish a goal they do not need to grow any longer. It can happen with almost anything; achieve a degree, reach a desired position, achieve a particular award, or achieve a financial success. However, effective leaders cannot afford to think that way. The day you stop growing is the day that you forfeit your potential and the potential of the organization you represent. In the famous words of Ray Kroc of McDonalds fame, As long as you are green, you are growing. As soon as you are ripe, you start to rot!
Overcome Your Success
Another irony of teachability is that success often hinders it. Effective leaders know that what got them there will not keep them there. If you have been successful in the past, beware! Remember, if what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you have not done much today.
Swear Off Shortcuts
It has been said that the longest distance between two points is a shortcut! For everything of value in life you will pay a price. As you desire to grow in a particular area, figure out what it really will take, and then determine to pay it!
Trade In your Pride
Teachability requires us to admit we don’t know everything and that can make us look bad. In addition, if we keep learning, then we must also keep making mistakes. It has been said that the greatest mistake one can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. You cannot be prideful and teachable at the same time. In order to gain growth, you must give up pride.
Never Pay Twice For The Same Mistake
Teddy Roosevelt stated, “He who makes no mistakes, makes no progress.” That is true! At the same time it can be said that a leader that keeps making the same mistakes does not make progress also.
There was a sign in a feed store that read, “If you don’t like the crop you are reaping, check the seed that you are sowing.” Do your life and leadership seem to be getting better day after day, year after year? When was the last time that you did something for the first time. To improve your teachability here are three suggestions.
Observe how you react to mistakes – apologize when appropriate, admit errors when necessary.
Try something new – Go out of your way today to be stretched mentally, emotionally or physically.
Learn in your area of strength – If you cannot write out your growth goals, you are probably day-dreaming.
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