I love the quote, "If you think you know everything, how smart can you be?'   I'm not sure who wrote this, however, I agree!   Often, when people arrive into a position of power and responsibility, they fail to realize that continued growth is essential to success as a leader. People often confuse busy with growth; busy just means busy.   Busy doesn't even mean that you're not possibly bored. Heck, we're all busy these days.

Yes, it's fair to say that as a leader we are always learning in our roles.  The majority of our learning comes from challenging experiences.  Experience is a great teacher for sure.  There's nothing like learning on the job and from within the 'fire'.   Additional learning comes from, or should come from, a mentor who gives us feedback and coaches us.   

However, the learning that I'm talking about comes from a more intentional approach. An approach where 'you make the learning happen for yourself' rather than having it happen to you. 

This past month I studied for and received my Certified Coach Practitioner (CCP) designation.  It's something I had wanted to do for a while.  I had years of experience in leadership, coaching and retail, but I learned so much more that will help me, and my clients, in my role as an Executive and Life Coach.   It took me taking the 'leap' into the knowledge pool to give me the confidence and skills I need. 

It's the oddest thing that we put kids in school at age 4 or 5, and keep them in there for 12 to 16 years.  Then, for most, that's it.  You somehow know everything you'll need to know.  Wouldn't that be great if that were true?  The reality is the world keeps changing, people keep changing and you keep changing.  How is it that what most of us learned 5, 10 or 20 years is all there is we need to know today?

To stay relevant (and happy) you need to learn new skills, ideas, thoughts and strategies. You need to become a continual learner.

Ask yourself … where do you want to go?  Where do you need to grow?

Read. Take a course online or in the classroom.  Tune into TedTalks.  Google everything.  Get lost in YouTube.  Network.  Subscribe to lots of blogs.  Read some more.

Learning leads to growth.  Growth leads to both success and happiness. 

Linda Montalbano is a true retail operator with a history of leading large retail teams to success. If you need a fresh perspective on what's going wrong in your stores, Linda is the one to tell you like it is and come up with a solid game plan to turn things around!

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