“Observe people who are good at their work— skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don’t take a backseat to anyone.” (MSG)
Think about a few leaders that you respect in your field. They could be a boss/bosses, a competitor or a famous business leader. Are you observing these leaders in action? In my opinion, too many people rely on only learning from their own mistakes. There is so much knowledge and wisdom to be gained from other people’s mistakes and the way in which they persevered and succeeded through them. As John Maxwell says, “Big-picture thinkers learn from their experiences. But they also learn from experiences they don’t have.”
John Wooden, who was the late, great coach of UCLA basketball, was also famous for a diagram he spent close to thirty years honing called the Pyramid of Success. This diagram is made up of 15 building blocks Wooden believed led to winning in basketball and in life. One of those building blocks is “Alertness”. According to Wooden, it is important to “be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve.”
Angela Maiers writes about the importance of aspiring leaders to be teachable and willing to learn in her article titled A “TO-BE” List for Aspiring Leaders:
“Teachability leads to excellence and excellence makes people take notice. Being teachable reveals your desire to improve, grow, and be excellent in all you do. It’s the excellent that often lead in any given field or industry. Don’t fail to learn all you can from those who went before you or to grow from your mistakes. Seeking out coaches and mentors will push you light years ahead of where you would be if you travelled alone.”
While failure is part of the process of improving and striving to attain goals in life, successful people minimize their failures by making it a habit to learn and observe the success of others. If we strive to be the excellent in our respective fields, it’s essential for us to be teachable and willing to learn. The knowledge we need to attain success is out there. We just need to be open-minded and eager to pursue it.