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Business Matters Logo
Aug 11, 2017

Business Matters: Learning, Loving, Leading

Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

Business Matters Logo

When my boys first started working outside the home, I would often tell them, “Work to learn, not to earn.” How much they were making was not nearly as important as what they could learn from the experience. Many of their first jobs were menial tasks, but it was the interaction and the experience of learning, in addition to earning something for the effort expended, that mattered most. I wish more of the people I interview for jobs would have realized this valuable insight.

In our professional journey, we all start somewhere, and if our eye is not on learning, we will miss the most important part of the experience. As we grow in our career, we can find things we enjoy most to do. If we fall in love with our work, we will find fulfillment and financial reward. What entrepreneur (or manager) would not prefer to have a committed employee that enjoys what he does over educational degrees or skills? Give me someone who loves what they are doing and, in most cases, we can teach them to do it well.

To lead with excellence, we need to love what we do and express that (through example) to those we supervise. Leaders who find fulfillment are often the people who share their experience and expertise with others. Passion is contagious and when the team around you can see and feel your inspiration, they are naturally motivated and drawn in to your plans to succeed together. What good is any achievement if you have no one to share it with? And when others start to feel your excitement, they will often excel beyond your expectation and to your mutual advantage.

Leadership is an ongoing experience of learning and loving. Once you feel you have arrived, you are in trouble. The greatest leaders know it’s a never-ending journey of high calling. In life, I have found we are either growing or dying, with no in-between. Therefore, once the learning process stops, we don’t stay where we are; we begin a backward slide.

Need a jump start in this area? Try these simple steps:

1) Read 15 minutes a day from a book about your business or personal potential.

2) Smile as often as possible; people enjoy a positive attitude.

3) Take time to appreciate what you have. Thanksgiving is good for the soul.

4) Help someone else; in doing so, it can take the focus off you and lift your countenance.

5) Look ahead to your goals and dreams. Remind yourself often why you are driving forward.

When our minds are clear and we put time into thinking about the big picture, we can see through to what we enjoy most about our work. Not all of what we do is delightful, but when you put each day into perspective, you just may find that you really love what you do. As mentor told me long ago, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day for the rest of your life.”