In a constantly changing society, effective leaders must be able to read the signs and predict the consequences of daily occurrences. Leaders must constantly seek knowledge relevant to their fields, and they must monitor developments as they occur. Leaders who learn from their own and others’ mistakes are more successful because they apply the lessons of experience.
Leaders Who Learn
There are many ways to increase field knowledge and leadership skills, especially in business. One of the most direct is to return to school to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Leaders who learn understand that providing learning opportunities to those they supervise is important — MBA coursework offers students the knowledge they need to create learning environments for coworkers and subordinates. Responsible leaders also offer explanations for their requests and actions, and they learn all they can from those they manage. By listening, leaders can gather information they may not otherwise have encountered. They can then apply their own expertise, the expertise of their workers and the experiential lessons of other leaders to real-world challenges. As Stephen Covey has said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” If leaders can listen to understand and learn, they and their teams will be better off.
Why Leaders Are Readers
There are a number of great reasons why leaders should read. First, reading helps keep important ideas and concepts fresh. Second, reading challenges the mind with unexpected ideas and perspectives. Third, a recent study shows that literary fiction readers have an increased capacity for empathy, which can be beneficial for managers. Finally, reading increases the breadth and depth of interpersonal communication. It is important for leaders to read a variety of books, articles and case studies, and rereading instructional nonfiction can reinforce important concepts. Further, reading creates networking opportunities, as it broadens the range of available conversational topics. Leaders can increase their education through a variety of means, reading being simply one of the most effective among many.
Online MBA Program
An online MBA program is an excellent way for aspiring leaders to increase their business knowledge while gaining the knowledge to lead effectively. Online MBA programs offer students the opportunity to research and explore topics specific to their fields in the context of management and leadership. Leaders who learn understand that knowledge is the difference between making avoidable errors and unavoidable mistakes.
Learn more about the Lamar University online MBA programs.
Harvard Business Review: The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners
Forbes: Why Leaders Must Be Readers