If you are a business owner, CEO or other executive leader you have probably learned a lot over the course of your career. I’m here to tell you that just because you reached the top or think you have doesn’t mean you should stop learning and developing yourself.
While there has been a lot written about the failure of leadership development programs there has been little to no research on executives that continue to learn new things as they age. I’m not saying all business owners and CEO’s are ancient – just that you probably haven’t been in school for a very long time and it’s no excuse to sit back on your past accomplishments.
Why should you continue to develop yourself if you are the boss?
* You don’t know everything – Just because you are the conductor of your business doesn’t mean you know it all. Just think about technology. How much do you know now than you did when you first started using it? Your employees know more than you in this respect and things are changing rapidly. You need to stay up on what’s happening just to keep your business ahead of your competition. Not to mention, your employees will respect you for staying up on the latest technology.
* Learn from experts and network with your peers – Even if you are the boss, you need to keep up with changes in your industry. You learn a lot from attending conferences or meeting with other peer executives. Attending a CEO roundtable or Vistage meeting on a monthly basis allows you to meet with and learn from other CEO’s or business owners. This is your opportunity to work on your business and not just in your business.
* Fear – Fear is a great motivator. If you are in a competitive business you definitely need to be afraid of your competition on some level. Markets and business climates change frequently and all it takes is one lucky break on their part and you could be trailing them. Don’t be afraid to make changes quickly to your business in order to stay ahead of your competition.
It’s fair to say that the world around us is constantly changing. If you decided a long time ago that you no longer need new knowledge and if you plan to do things the way you always have then here is no chance your business will survive. My challenge to you as the business owner, CEO or other executive in an organization is that you owe it to your business and all the people you employ to continue to learn and stretch and grow.