Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Always Learning

"Miss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book." --- Jim Rohn

We so often expect our team members to stay abreast of new developments and new trends that affect our business. We may offer trade magazines or email links to various sites and news bulletins and then expect all of that information to be absorbed to be used when the need arises. This is a good thing and may help in some situations. But what about long term? Is there an approach we can take for our employees that will help to build a desire for continual learning?

I may have the answer. While conducting a job analysis for a client, I was interviewing an employee who confessed to me that she has never read a book. This employee was in a key position that required her to stay informed regarding timely information about financial markets.

Now, I know a lot of people who would rather read magazine articles and short snippets on the internet, but this employee was in a sales position that I would have assumed at least read some sales books that could help her in her job. She told me, "I think I would have a difficult time getting through a book and would probably find it boring."

I found this astonishing, so we did a informal survey while continuing with the analysis and found that many more of my client's employees do not read books. It is not that a business cannot succeed without its employees reading books, but I do believe it will help accelerate the success. As a side road to the project I was hired to perform, I suggested to the client that he create a business library for his employees. This suggestion started a discussion that extended for several days and eventually included six of his team members.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." --- Groucho Marx

We encouraged them to start a book club that can meet twice a month to discuss various business, sales, philosophy, communication, and personal development books. The client wants to create a team that is always learning, always stretching to be more so they can do more and the business and the employees can earn more.

Learn more to earn more... works for me! For some suggested reading, check out the Shelfari bookshelf on the right side of this page.

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