logo image

ATD Blog

How to Keep Learning as a Leader...on a Budget


Tue Jul 03 2012


(From FOX Business) -- In business, success hinges on staying current or risk falling behind.



That’s especially true for your learning process. Self-education becomes a personal requirement, as does taking on the role of a lifetime learner.


Time pressures make that a tall order – and few have the budget to partake in the executive education program at Wharton or Stanford. 


But learning can happen – and will happen – when you see everything around you as a classroom. We come in contact with situations every day that offer rich opportunities to learn and grow—without a high price tag. All you have to do is take a look around and observe.



Here are seven tips to get you in gear as a lifetime learner:


No. 1: Subscribe to online business publications. The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Smartbrief on Leadership and National Public Radio’s Marketplace program – these are some of my favorite resources for learning about leadership, business developments and consumer trends. The stories, interviews and blogs featured in these publications are all well worth your time. Go two-for-two: Subscribe to two publications and make it a daily goal to read one article from each.



No. 2: Observe practices in other businesses. You can walk into any business and see operational and organizational practices going on. For example, I was recently at a department store when a morning shift change began. I observed a group of employees and their manager, gathered together near the check-out area, engaged in a lively discussion. As it turned out, a morning team huddle had started. This daily practice united the group—before they moved to their separate work areas—to talk about sales, customer feedback, store specials and team accomplishments. Interestingly, the session concluded with a 90-second team stretch. The huddle lasted about five minutes, and by the smiles and spiritedness of the group, it clearly worked as a spark plug for communication and camaraderie.


No. 3: Look, listen and ask. You could observe the situation that I just described at the department store and leave it at that, or you could go one step further, and probe. That’s what I did. When the huddle broke up, I approached the manager and complimented him on how he engaged his team. That small talk opened the door for me to ask a few questions about the practice—it’s purpose, how he keeps it fresh, and the impact that it has on the team. Our brief conversation was insightful and provided me with some new ideas.

Read more.

You've Reached ATD Member-only Content

Become an ATD member to continue

Already a member?Sign In


Copyright © 2024 ATD

ASTD changed its name to ATD to meet the growing needs of a dynamic, global profession.

Terms of UsePrivacy NoticeCookie Policy