Silver bullets don’t exist, there is no one and done classroom for growth. I’ve spoken with countless professionals that set their sights on getting that degree or certification, telling me that the paper will ensure that they’ll be ready for that next promotions or new job.
No, it won’t.
The process is the goal, It’s not the degree, it’s the mindset that matters. Understand that throughout your life you will be faced with new challenges, if you stay in your box and solve for things you have already experienced or can look up formulated answers you might get by until you get that new project, promotion or challenge, then you will be stuck or worse passed over. If you aspire to grow your team or yourself then you have to develop the continuous learning mindset now.
A one time event is not a mindset.
Rather than focusing on the next certification we should instead develop a habit of asking “why” more often. Being a learner is all about asking more, and better, questions. Then going to find the answers. In the military we say “It’s the planning that matters, not the plan.” Build on that part of your life that is concerned with challenging convention and asking questions. No one joins a gym with the goal of having a “good workout” and it would be shortsighted to join just to lose 10 pounds. We join to create opportunities to live a healthier life and be able to do more. Learning is like that too.
Take a look at your goals, not your task list but your real goals and then challenge how you think about achieving them with questions. You might want to set aside some time for this. Turn off your phone, sit with a pad of paper and a pen or a whiteboard and start asking questions about what your want to do.
In “A More Beautiful Question” Warren Berger tells us we can frame our questions in three parts ask yourself “Why, What if and How.” Try it with any process at work, why do you do it that way? What if it was done differently? And finally how would you go about making a change? If the questions drive you to a good project, then get to it.
Continuous learning does not mean certifications, it means building an appetite for discovering new information, being willing to ask more questions and being humble enough to hear the answers. We have a unique take on developing leadership, check out how we started here.
If you want to get engaged in the dialogue around leadership check out some short videos on Youtube. Watch a video and talk with your team about how it applies in your office.