There’s something to be said for the experience you bring to the table for any job – whether it’s as a CEO, board director, head of tax, CFO, engineer, lawyers, or any other business role. Experience is somewhat easy to measure by reviewing the candidate’s resume, asking pointed questions about how they’ve handled situations in the past, and how many years of overall experience they have. However, have you put some thought into this particular characteristic – How hungry are they?
Hunger to learn, hunger to get better, hunger to grow revenue and balance it with profitability, hunger to learn new industries, skills, subject matter – just how hungry are you? I believe that hunger is one of your most important traits for success in business. You should keep an open mind to learn new things, take risks on new untested ideas, and keep learning. Continuous learning will allow you to not just grow in your particular job, but will also open up and expand your vision of business and life.
When was the last time you picked up a book or listened to a lecture? Or reached out to someone new you met to have coffee and learn about what they do? As soon as we step out of our regular playbook of our job title, our neurons begin to fire and create new pathways. Why is that? New ideas expand our thinking. They lead us to look at issues from many different viewpoints. As you begin to learn more, you also begin to change who you are.
You are hopefully not the same person you were last year, last month, or even yesterday. As you go through life, you keep adding layers of beliefs, knowledge, people in your life, and new thoughts and ideas. I believe that any business skill can be learned if you put sufficient time into it.
So, I’m going to ask you this question today, and you should ask yourself this same question every morning – How hungry are you? Are you ready to set aside time each day towards learning? What I hear from most people is that they are so busy in their day-to-day jobs and are exhausted by the end of the day. That’s true for many of us. However, if you want to make a change, you have to do things differently. You have to think differently. Is there time in your schedule that you could pivot to learning time? I like to wake up early in the morning and spend an hour reading or finishing a course. What would work for you? Be honest with yourself.
Remember that you don’t have to set aside an hour to learn. You can start with 10 minutes each day. Now who doesn’t have 10 minutes to spare? I believe everyone does. In between meetings when you have a 5 minute break, pull out your reading materials and read for those 5 minutes. Instead of putting on Netflix or Youtube, put that time to better use and study. This hunger for learning and increasing your knowledge will re-shape your thought process and who you are as a person and as a leader.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you can look back at who you were a year ago and barely recognize yourself? That’s how incremental change works in life. You begin to change a bit each day, you add on another layer of knowledge, and personality traits. When you look at yourself a year from today, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see your own growth and the new leader that you’ve shaped yourself into.
So, I ask you again – HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU?