7 Reasons Business Managers Should Never Stop Reading
Being a manager is something that many of us spend years striving for. Whether it’s your dream to run your own business, lead a small team to success, or to become the CEO of a large multinational company, becoming a manager, CEO, entrepreneur or any other kind of leader is something to work towards. It gives you the chance to make more money, gain more respect, and will always give you a head start if ever you seek new employment or future opportunities.
Some managers make the mistake of thinking that they know it all. They are the top of their game, they’ve got the big job, and they are in charge. They stop learning. They stop seeking ways to improve, and while they may invest time and money training their staff, their own training stalls. These managers are rarely successful. They rarely stay at the top of their game for long, they struggle to motivate their teams or gain respect in the wider business world, and they have a hard time growing their business.
It’s frequently the managers that continue to learn that are always reading, or seeking new opportunities for knowledge, that are the most successful. Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why managers should never stop reading, as well as some tips to help you to continue on your learning journey.
1. Business is Evolving Faster Than Ever
Business is evolving faster than at any other period in time. Life is changing faster than we can ever remember, and you only have to look at the technology in your home, or even in your pocket, to see how quickly technological advancements are being made. Twenty years ago, we could never have imagined some of the technology that we are so reliant on today, and these advancements look likely to keep coming as we move forwards.
Business is evolving with these developments. The companies and industries that are thriving today aren’t necessarily the ones that we’d have expected to do well ten years ago. Some sectors that are growing today didn’t even exist ten years ago. The world is moving on so quickly that it would be dangerous for any manager to rest. You may know your business inside out today, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you will tomorrow.
2. To Stay at the Top
You may have graduated at the top of your class. You might have entered the business confident that you were among the best of your year group. You might even have quickly risen through the ranks, growing into business, and rapidly becoming a manager.
But, the fast advancements in nearly every sector mean that if we rest, we won’t ever stay at the top for long. Soon, the new graduates coming to work in your company will have knowledge that you don’t. Keep reading, and you’ll never find yourself in a position of knowing less than new starters.
3. It’s Important to Stay Interested
It’s so easy to lose interest in things that we do all of the time. They become boring. Your job becomes just a job, and any passion that you once felt begins to dwindle. When this happens, your business suffers. If the manager isn’t passionate or even interested in the business, the staff can’t be expected to be, and it will quickly start to show.
Reading and learning stop this lack of interest in its tracks. Learning new things can reignite your interest and keep your passion burning. This means that you are more likely to give more of yourself to your company, pushing it forwards and enjoying your work.
4. To Become a Great Role Model
Often mistakes are made when our staff members are poorly trained, or when their training is left behind once they are established members of our team. If you want your employees to keep learning and to stay interested, you need to set the right example. If they see that you are always reading, that you are willing to learn and try new things, they will be more likely to do the same, and their respect for you will grow.
5. To Improve Related Skills
Business isn’t all about your understanding of your industry and the tools that you use. There are plenty of transferable skills that can boost your business. Reading gives you a chance to learn about other things, which you may not learn about by speaking with your peers.
6. To Keep Your Mind Active
By simply going through the motions, you let your mind stagnate. This isn’t just bad for your performance or your business; it can also be bad for your health. Keep reading to keep your mind active and alert.
7. For the Good of Your Business
Perhaps the most basic and obvious reason, which all of the others amount to, is that business managers should read for the good of their businesses. Keep reading, keep learning, and your business will grow.
Different Ways to Learn
Unfortunately, learning isn’t always easy. Most of us are guilty of getting set in our ways and of going through the motions. When we’re busy, we look for ways to save time and make life easier, which doesn’t leave much time to learn. However, there are plenty of ways to do it that you may have overlooked. Here’s a look at some of the best ways for managers to learn, including reading, and some tips to help you do it.
Reading covers a broad section of learning opportunities. You could read books about operations management as recommended by Kettering University Online, or the latest books on your particular sector. You could read books or articles about specific skills or new developments. Or, you could read about becoming a better manager. You can read books, online articles, essays, business journals, newspaper articles, opinion pieces, news stories, lists of the latest tech developments. Even reading fiction can keep your mind alert, boost your creativity, and inspire new ideas to improve your business. There are so many advantages to reading, and so much that you can learn by simply sitting quietly with a book.
- Learning from Other Managers
Networking is a valuable tool when it comes to learning, growing, and gaining new knowledge and skills. Yes, networking can open doors for your business, but it can also help you to build relationships with people who have a lot to teach you.
Learn by asking questions, listening to their mistakes and their success stories, and by having interesting conversations about your businesses, the latest developments, and the world in general.
- Take a Course
Studying doesn’t have to stop when you progress from compulsory education or when you graduate from college. You are never too old for school, and nowadays there are a variety of different ways to study. You could go back to college, study online, or take more informal courses online or in your community.
- Learn Something New
We don’t just learn through doing the things we know, or through focusing on our business, and the things that we need to know. There are plenty of transferable skills, that will help your business, that you can improve by practicing completely unrelated hobbies. Boost your critical thinking and creativity by practicing creative hobbies. Become more focused by practicing yoga and spending time on meditation. Take what you learn from your hobbies and other interests and use it in your business.
- Push Yourself and Strive for Change
We often stop learning when we stop pushing. We start to take things for granted when we do the same things every day. Start pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Take risks, try new things, and actively seek new ways to learn. Strive to be better, and you will be.
- Try to Understand Successful Businesses
Some businesses are far more successful than others. Sometimes the reasons for this are clear, and at others, they aren’t so obvious. Some companies are clearly poorly run, and it’s easy to see why they’ve failed while those around them have thrived.
To be successful in business, it’s a good idea to learn from both. Spend time studying successful businesses, looking at how they are run, their operational processes, managers, products, services, and marketing campaigns. Learn as much as you can about them and try your best to understand the reasons for their success.
You should also take the time to understand the failures, including what went wrong, why, and what could you do differently to avoid making the same mistakes.
- Keep an Open Mind
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that you know it all. The harsh truth is, no matter how smart you are, or how successful your business is, you don’t. Even if somehow you managed to know everything about your business, there are plenty of related skills and ideas, and new developments are being made every day. You’ll never know everything, so keep an open mind. Learn from new starters in your company, as well as other business managers. Learn from your family members and friends, and even from your children. Learn from nature, and from wildlife and keep an open mind to all of the opportunities around you.
If you want to do well in business and in life, continued learning is one of the most important things that you can do. Reading improves your business, your standing, and even your health and wellbeing, so don’t ever stop.
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