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Jul 23
2018

Becoming a Lifelong Learner

Posted by: Steve Marr

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When I interview individuals for a job, one of my favorite interview questions is to ask them to tell me about the three biggest mistakes they made and what they learned from them. I'm not as concerned about the mistakes as I am in understanding how a potential employee grows through missteps. Scripture relates, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” (Luke 2:52, NLT) We all need to emulate the example of our Lord who grew in wisdom.

 

Another question I ask potential employees is what books or magazines they have read in the past three months. One of my activities is marketing franchises and matching the right individual with the right franchise to fit them. While I don't count every article, I probably read between 25 and 40 articles a month regarding franchising. My belief is that I need to stay current with trends, new models and issues that come up with existing companies. The more I learn on an ongoing basis the better I'm able to serve my clients.

I believe that effective business owners and managers should read at least one a book relating to management, sales or their business each month. This is a good evening project rather than watching reruns on TV. Additionally, they should read several magazines and digest pertinent articles carefully. When I receive a franchise magazine, I skim articles, skip over many; but I also decide which ones I need to pay attention to so that I can glean important information from them.

Many professions such as accounting and teaching require continuing education to maintain certification, while most professions do not. However, you and I don't need to stand still with last year’s learning. In an old fairy tale, Rip Van Winkle fell asleep for 20 years before he woke up. Everything had changed. In a business environment everything can change in less than a year.

In every profession those who take responsibility and make the commitment to continually learn about general business, marketing and their specific profession will move forward with success. Make sure you take responsibility to be a lifelong leaner. 

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