Successful people continually learn new things, get rid of old habits, advance their skills, and kill off those things that prevent them from moving forward. No one’s career remains motionless. Staying in the same place, doing the same thing while everything moves around you is a recipe for disaster.
Some forces of change are within your control while others are out of your control. Two of these forces you control are to “learn the new” and “unlearn the old”. Simply put, the learn/unlearn equilibrium in knowledge, skills, technology, approaches, experiences, positions and optimizing opportunities are all requirements to move your career to a new plateau. From this plateau you continue to grow and move to the next level.
However, the opposite force revolves around the concept of “unlearning” those things that will hold you back and prevent you from moving forward. They may be cultural, educational, attitudinal, emotional and so on. Such things as operating style, learning curve, dress, receptivity, autocratic methods versus engaging behavior, manners, ineffective versus effective communications and so on. All are a part of the “learning versus unlearning” equation.
So, what should you do to accelerate your career? Sort out what you need to learn and what you need to unlearn in order to move forward and upward. We all have access to information that has been created over the past 20,000 years, yet few have assessed the knowledge and skills to become a star performer. Why not? Because very few have looked at the “learn/unlearn” question related to the expectations that a new situation or organization has of you.
Example: When you accept a new assignment or enter a new company, how long does it take to get up to speed? If you’re in a typical situation, you sit through a history lesson of the organization, tour the facilities, learn about the policies and practices, meet with multiple groups and individuals, then return to your work station and are expected to be productive. What a waste of time and effort. How do you Google the knowledge you need to become an outstanding performer? You can’t. Most are a “sink or swim” situation.
What would happen if you had an on-line program that walked you through the steps that identified and previewed the skills, abilities and knowledge you needed for success, tested you on those items and gave you the resources to become a master performer in those areas where you fell short. You could collaborate and learn from co-workers, free up your creativity to apply new ideas, engage your curiosity to pursue alternatives, then ask all the questions you need in order to fully understand the expectations and knowledge necessary for high performance, rather than being bound in a bureaucratic web?
There are organizations that work that way. When you find one, bless your lucky stars.
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