Want to know one of the secret ingredients to becoming a great leader? Become an avid learner! One of the most effective things you can do to continue to grow as a leader is to always be learning. In fact, I believe that being an avid learner is the single biggest thing that separates a good leader from a great one. There is always more to know, and when people ask what I look for when hiring someone, an avid learner tops the list. People who are avid learners love what they do and seek out know-how wherever they can find it, which makes them a whole lot smarter and their results a whole lot better. Someone with a voracious appetite for knowledge is bound to inspire others with their passion and curiosity and can energize an organization by bringing to it new ideas.
While I was CEO of Yum! Brands, when a member of the Executive Team discovered a powerful business book, we would share it with each other, and then cascade the book throughout the organization to other leaders. We didn’t just read the book. We took time to discuss our insights and we looked for lessons that could apply to our business. For example, we read Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni and Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim. In this way, we were building our know-how and actively encouraging our leaders to become avid learners.
David Novak Leadership was created for avid learners like you. We provide leadership resources to help you become better leaders. Our blogs, like this one, and videos are great ways to gain new leadership insights and approaches that you can apply to your situation. But, the content I enjoy producing the most is my leadership podcast. I enjoy these podcasts so much because it gives me an opportunity to listen and learn from some of the best leaders around the world. Recording these podcasts is one way I stay sharp as a leader and I hope they help you grow as a leader too. One of the questions we typically ask during the podcast is, “What do you do to stay sharp, to grow as a leader?” Here are the answers given by two of the best leaders in the world.
In my podcast with Home Depot Co-Founder, Ken Langone, he said, “who dares teach, never ceases to learn.” In every relationship, Ken tries to learn as much from others as they learn from him.
Former Taco Bell CEO, Brian Niccol has “coffee talk” once a quarter. Each coffee talk is a forum to discuss what the team has learned around a specific topic. The quarterly topics may be around innovation, or design, or what’s happening in food culture, or technology. Since things are changing so rapidly in the food industry, just having a dialogue on them is really helpful. Brian also pulls the team together to discuss test learnings. Sharing what worked and what didn’t work helps everyone benefit from the learnings.
Do you want to discover how to become an avid learner? Then download this guide to uncover more helpful tips on how to become an avid learner. Who can you invite to join you on your quest to become an avid learner? Share this blog and guide with them today, and invite them to learn more with you. Having support on your journey to becoming a better leader can provide motivation and much needed encouragement. Go Lead!
David’s passion is to make the world a better place by developing leaders at all ages through David Novak Leadership, his family’s Lift-a-Life Foundation, Lead4Change, Global Game Changers and The Novak Leadership Institute at the University of Missouri.
Novak has been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review…
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