Last week, I dropped my kids off for the first day of school. What a feeling – not only as a parent, but the nostalgia the first day of school brings me as I remember some of my first days. The nervous and excited feeling in my stomach. The new outfit my grandmother had taken me to get. The mostly empty bookbag just waiting to be filled with books to cover at home later that night. How about you? What does seeing the school buses in your neighborhoods bring up for you?
Back-to-school season is a great invitation for us to pause and think about where and how we are learning. As kids, we are naturally curious – knowing the start of a new school year brings new things to learn. But as we grow up, we begin to get comfortable with our level of expertise and don’t push ourselves to continue learning. Sometimes, we even fall into a “know it all” mindset, where we aren’t learning but instead telling those we lead what and how to do things, devoid of curiosity and humility. Fast Company recently called humility the most important leadership trait, pointing out:
“Many of these know-it-alls do know a lot, but they’re done learning. In contrast, the most respected and resilient leaders I’ve known have been learn-it-alls—humble enough to know there’s always more to know and eager to learn it. In my experience, a willingness to keep learning is the one trait that seems to guarantee progress.”
Here at Kane Learning, one of our core values is a growth mindset. This goes hand in hand with humility. When we lead with humility, we show that we don’t need to be “know-it-alls” – we want to be a “learn-it-alls” instead.
When we find ourselves in a fixed mindset, leaning into learning is often key to getting “unstuck.”
If you’re like us, your schedules are full! You may want to stay on a journey of growth and development, but it’s hard to figure out where to start.
In this blog post, we’re here to help! We’re going to walk you through three ways to lean into learning.
Take a moment now to review the three ideas for learning.
1. Read a book or article, watch a video, or take a class:
What is 1 leadership development topic I am curious about?
What’s most realistic for my schedule – to read a book or article, watch a video, or attend a Who can you invite to hold you accountable? Can this person read the book or attend with you, or you can set up time on your calendar to tell them about it after you are done? A deadline keeps us motivated!
2. Download a new app:
Is there an app you’ve heard a co-worker or even your high school niece mention that you’d be interested in learning more about?
Set up time with them to have them tell you about it and how they use it.
Find 1 way to connect what you’ve learned to the work you do and then tell someone about it.
3. Spend time with a co-worker from a different generation:
For the first time in history, there are four distinct generations in the workforce: Baby Boomers, GenXers, Gen Y or Millennials, and Gen Z, or Post-Millennials. How many of these generations are in your workplace?
Of the generations represented, which do you know the least about, or feel the least familiar with?
Reach out to a few members of a different generation and explain that you’re leaning into learning! Ask if you can meet with them for 30 minutes for a set period of time (once a week for a month, once a month for 3-4 months, etc) where they share with you what they are learning, so you can learn from them.
Holding yourself accountable is key to putting one of these into practice! Who can you invite into this learning journey with you?
Leading with humility is the path of leadership of the future:
“We no longer need to be know-it-alls. We need to become learn-it-alls, infinitely adapting and adjusting to new information, environments, and people. Learning is no longer the mark of a novice. It is a life-long practice.”
- Carol Dweck, Ph. D., Mindset, The New Psychology of Success
In a recent conversation with our founder and CEO, Cassie Kane, about how she gets out of a fixed mindset, she shared a personal story from a time when she knew she was stuck and needed to keep growing. She decided to make a big change and cut her hair. This process has become a physical prompt for her to show the change she is committed to making for her own development.
If you’d like another way to level up your leadership, we’d love you to join us for an upcoming series: NEW LEADER ESSENTIALS.