I have always loved reading, watching and learning from others who are successful. My bedside table always has at least one biography on there. If you know me well, you likely know I’m a bit of a sticky beak – a nice one – always interested in other people’s lives – both who they are and what they do. And I’ve turned it into a leadership practise and one that I think everyone involved in leadership should take on. So here’s what it is…
I have done my fair share of professional development. I went to University straight from school and studied education and then onto psychology and counselling. I became a Senior Consultant for TAFE Queensland and spent the best part of 3 years travelling to TAFE Institutes across the state facilitating training and development programs for TAFE teachers and trainers. And I loved every minute of it. And I’m a geek when it comes to my own learning.
After starting RuralScope, I participated in training programs for myself. I chose my experiences carefully and always enjoyed the day and took away a long action list. I always loved meeting the facilitator / guest speaker / trainer and was the sucker who always bought their book if they had one there for sale. Slowly I developed my very own list of leadership heroes. I think everyone should create their own list!
It’s what I did next that I know made all the difference to my continued development. I would write them a note / email and let them know how valuable meeting them had been and would ask them to suggest any other training, reading or insights that they’d be willing to share. For many it was a quick email back, for others it was an invite for a phone call or even a meal next time we were in the same city. So what started as a group / standard training experience sometimes progressed on to a one on one meet up.
I also checked out their public profiles and started to friend or follow them there so that I could gain even more of their wisdom. The main ones being Facebook, Instagram and Linked in.
And by doing this my interactions with them increased, my learnings grew and I found that I had created my own learning program by taking the time to connect in this way. All for no cost and a little time. Years ago the first person I did this with was Robin Sharma. He’s the author of The Monk who Sold his Ferrari and then Life Lessons from the Monk who sold his Ferrari. He’s as relevant today as he was then and I do find myself re-reading his books and I’m still a member of his 5am club! But for me it’s 6 am!!
“Professional development is more valuable than the price you pay for it.”
“Develop your own list of leadership heroes.”
“Take time to mix in online networks where your heroes hang out – this means it doesn’t matter where they live you can still connect .”