A good friend of mine started a new job today. I sent him a text a few minutes ago stating that I hoped his first day was going well. I even told him I didn’t expect a reply because he should working!
A few minutes later, this text comes in:
So I sent this response:
I don’t think my friend is alone in thinking that learning, or being trained, isn’t “work”. Part of this comes down to the value, or perceived value that is placed on the training process by those who feel it gets in the way (and there are a lot of those people out there).
How many of you have heard something like this, “Okay, you gotta go to this training thing, but hurry back because we have work to do.”
Boom – the value (in that person’s mind) of learning something new has just been solidified. It ain’t that important. And when it doesn’t seem that important, less and less effort is exerted to make it meaningful or to seek out opportunities to learn something new.
But learning is work. Not only in the sense that it is part of the process of being a better leader and a better person, but also in terms of the definition of the word:
Work – exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something
Learning (not just sitting and letting information pass by us) takes effort. Sometimes we have to challenge our established ways of thinking to alter a process (even for the better). Gaining a new skill or bit of information also helps us produce a result or accomplish something – probably something that you had never been able to accomplish before, likely because you didn’t know enough.
Looking at learning as work also helps us tie the efforts together, making them even stronger as a team. Tearing them apart and separating them weakens them both.
Thanks for reading!