Becoming a Lifelong Learner

To be the best leader possible for your team, you must possess competence. To gain competence you need experience and to become a lifelong learner.

A lifelong learner is someone who actively acquires new skills and capabilities through formal or informal educational means.

Becoming a lifelong learner requires dedication, focus, and discipline. The first step is to commit and adjust your mindset. With true dedication, you should set aside at least 30 minutes a day to build and acquire knowledge.

There are many ways to acquire new knowledge and skills to help you build your team and agency.

The most common way to gain new knowledge is through formal education either through a degree or continuing education program at a local university or college. With today’s technology and options, it is never too late to continue your formal education.

Second, you can become a lifelong learner by hanging out with the type of people you want to become (smart, successful, etc). This is exactly what I did in the early 1990s by learning all I could with the top Allstate Agents in the country that were doing much better than me. I still do it today with some of the smartest agents and marketers on the planet.

Third, seek out mentors, and coaches. These are people that have already been down the path you have chosen. You may be thinking these people are too busy and not interested in helping. Maybe that is right, but you’ll never know until you ask.

Fourth, if you happen to encounter an accomplished person or a celebrity by chance do not waste the opportunity. Speak up! Shyness is no excuse. I have done this with Charles Barkley, Joe Theismann, and many other celebrities. A great question to ask is, “Who gave you the best advice to help your career, and what was it?”

Fifth, become a voracious reader. Not all readers become leaders, but all leaders become readers. If you hold a college degree but you’ve stopped reading and learning after you have graduated, you’re not a well-educated person. How much of what you learned in college can you recall now? How much has the world changed since you left college? You have to keep discovering new ideas, and the best way to do that is by reading.

To your success as a leader!