11 July 2017
In your early years as an entrepreneur it is easy to feel invincible. It is this fearlessness that drives you to take on anything. It’s this same bravado that also can tie us in knots when we least expect it.
As we get older we learn from our experience, we make mistakes and grow as people as well as business leaders. With that comes the greatest lesson of all: learning from others.
It is all too easy during our invincible stage to have a fixed mindset and be too proud to look to others for help. I fell foul of that earlier in my business journey and it took a real shift in mindset to realise the value of learning from other people, especially other entrepreneurs; those who have been there and done it or have done it differently.
Reading biographies of great leaders, spending time with other entrepreneurs and seeking out the best in the world taught me just as much, if not more than any personal experience. I have learned an extraordinary amount from the likes of Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson and Jim Collins to name but a few. Warren Buffet and Chet Holmes are on that list too.
I’ve also picked up some gems along the way from people from all walks of life and I consciously try and learn from everyone that I meet. Imagine if you ask an extra question to everyone you encounter, how much more might you learn? All too often people are too consumed with their own journey to pick up the nuances along the way.
One word of advice though, give credit where credit is due. If you lift an idea, have the courtesy to credit the person your learnt it from. I have seen some classic examples of people who plagiarise ideas and pass them off as their own. There are hundreds of instances of this with Tony Robin’s content and nowadays I even find my creativity popping up in the most unlikely places.
Today is Tech Manchester’s Mentoring event. A perfect place where collaboration and creativity meet. Ideas are flowing and you can feel the energy in the room. If you haven’t got a mentor and you are trying to expand your business or climb the corporate ladder, you may want to consider it. There is a saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s also true that listening is a skill that improves with practice and age.
The faster you learn to listen to others with more experience than yourself, the faster you will develop.
I have never met a successful business leader who says they reached where they are today on their own, without help, guidance or inspiration from key people around them. The ones that claim the credit aren’t as successful as they’d like you to believe.