A Life-Long Learner by Jim Johnson

This is an excerpt from my workbook, The Path to Promotion.  (previously titled “Right On”). This section is from the “be the right person” chapter…

Think about your current job responsibilities.  Have you mastered them?  Does the quality of your work reveal this?  Too often individuals believe they should be promoted but yet they have not mastered their current responsibilities.  How shallow and blind!

You need to develop a life of learning to prepare for future opportunities.  It begins with where you are today.  If there are areas of your job that you are not completely proficient in (proficient not perfection), then make it a priority to learn what you need to learn.

Proficiency brings so many benefits to you.  You will gain confidence.  A can-do attitude is hard to ignore and is “infectious”.  Job mastery demonstrates your competence.  You can control to some degree what others think of you.  Competency is always a favorable attribute.  And proficiency provides job security.  In today’s economy, you definitely want to be thought of as indispensable as possible.

A life of learning does not only take place on the job.  Are you learning outside of your daily shift?  One of the best ways to develop a life of learning is to read.  Your local public library is full of current magazines, journals and books that can aid in your personal development.  Read about current trends that affect your company, your department, and your daily duties.  You will be preparing yourself with useful knowledge for future projects and even for future interviews.

Area colleges and universities offer courses and degrees designed with the working professional in mind.  Degrees can be earned through in-class and online offerings.

Bottom line:  always learn.  Grow.  Develop yourself.

Being the right person means that you are committed to learning more               about yourself, your job, and your company.

Thought for Today – Creating Purposeful Workplaces

This morning, I was reviewing a book I recently read, Born to Build, and I want to share some of the comments that I reread this morning. This is something I’m going to be mulling over and acting upon.

  • Create a workplace that has a shared sense of purpose that
  • Connect employees on an emotional level.

It is so easy for our teams to get in a rut. Just showing up every day and falling into a routine. Not that routines are bad, but routines can blind us to our true purpose.

So how do we help our teams connect with that shared sense of purpose? Whose responsibility is it to make this happen?

Ideally it would be every employee’s responsibility to keep the purpose of the organization firmly in the front of their mind. But we all know that it takes leadership from the top to continually promote purpose and to help others focus on that purpose.

And one of the best ways to do this as a leader is to emotionally connect with your staff. That means spending intentional time needed to know them and their lives outside of work. That means helping them connect their work to the greater purpose. That also means to praise them when they have lived out that purpose so that they don’t miss when they actually do it.

How are you doing this at your organization? Share in the comments.

Curiosity – Leaders Can Encourage It!

Last evening, I read a very good article in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  The article, entitled “The Business Case for Curiosity” by Francesca Gino (Professor, Harvard), spelled out why curiosity is so important in our businesses and for our team members.

Prof. Gino defines curiosity as “the impulse to seek new information and experiences and explore novel possibilities“.  As much as I value curiosity, it was sobering to read “although leaders might say they treasure inquisitive minds, in fact most stifle curiosity fearing it will increase risk and inefficiency“.

Prof. Gino speaks of two barriers to curiosity:

  1. Leaders have the wrong mindset about exploration.  The fear here is this could lead to a “costly mess”, make the company harder to manage, and could possibly slow down operations.
  2. Leaders tend to seek efficiency to the detriment of exploration.  Prof. Gino uses Henry Ford’s drive to reduce production costs so much so that he was unable to be nimble enough to address General Motors surge in introducing a greater variety of automobiles for the public.

So how can a leader “bolster curiosity”?  Prof. Gino lists 5 ways:

  1. Hire for Curiosity
  2. The Leader should model inquisitiveness.
  3. Emphasize learning goals over or as much as performance goals.
  4. Let employees explore and broaden their interests.
  5. Have “why?” and “what if…?” and “how might we…?” days.

Harvard Business Review Sept cover

I am purposefully leaving out a lot of detail in this post. You should invest a small price to read this excellent article which can be found online here:  https://hbr.org/product/the-business-case-for-curiosity/R1805B-PDF-ENG

Or better yet, subscribe to HBR here: Harvard Business Review subscription information

Scott Druhot Kicks-off Season 2 of First Fridays – VIDEO

via Scott Druhot Kicks-off Season 2 of First Fridays – VIDEO

My brother and I are the cofounders of a networking/leadership forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We call it First Fridays.  Today was our kick off meeting for season two. I thought I would share our speaker’s presentation with this blog’s audience.

On a Personal Note – A Dream Fulfilled

Today at 6 pm, a dream will be fulfilled. About 3 years ago my the 10 year old son told me he wanted to learn to play the drums. He said one of his goals was to play with me on our church’s Worship Band.

Tonight and tomorrow that dream will come to pass. He will be on drums and I will be the bass player.

I am so proud of my son for sticking to his dream. He has worked hard. He is learning so much. His love for music us growing. He’s developing an eclectic taste in music – from the Cars, Queen, Rush to Tony Succar to Tim Akers and the Smoking Section.

I can’t wait for this weekend’s music experience. I hope for many more years of this follows.

Thank you for reading a more personal note. It’s a proud papa moment.

Here a link to one of his songs: https://youtu.be/RWeOjztUtGw