On Career Development: Learn How to Learn

09.19.13

Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value – surprisingly quickly.

~ David Maister, Business Author and Consultant

I used to be a consultant for Oracle Corporation back in the 90s when the ERP boom was happening.  Technology was moving fast (and continues to do so!) and I had to keep up to remain relevant and show value to my clients.  I had to learn how to quickly learn.

I thought I had good study habits while attending Brigham Young University to study business and accounting, however, at Oracle I realized I had to raise my game.  I studied constantly and put in practice a reading / study habit that has benefited me throughout my career.

I receive many of the popular business magazines and use my plane time to read them.  My magazine list is Inc., Fast Company, Wired, Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur and Money.  I also recommend Harvard Business Review.

I read magazines to stay on top of business trends and get inspiration from the innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs.  I read business books to get a deeper dive on business principles and strategies.  I recommend all books by Jim Collins and Patrick Lencioni. Check out my book reviews in this blog for other recommendations.  I recently have been working through Zappos’ recommended reading list.  Check it out here.

Final tip: Like you, I don’t have a lot of time to sit and read a book, so I have an Audible.com subscription and listen to books while I am driving.  I have found this to be an effective way to get my reading in.  I encourage you to try it out.  Any smart phone and an adapter cord found at Best Buy will work.

Books and magazines are great mentors and teachers.  I encourage you to read a lot!  Give up some TV time if necessary to stay on top of your reading.  It is worth it.

~ SLE

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