By Lisa Blankman, CPA
Manager, Audit & Assurance Services
At the end of any business day, your team members shouldn’t just have completed tasks to show for themselves; they should have learned something as well. Learn Something NEW Every Day!
Transitioning from the college classroom to the “Real World” can be intimidating to those joining the workforce for the first time. As a leader, it’s within your power to create a smoother segue by making your business feel like a continuous learning environment. One way to do that is to compile a reading list for employees and keep hard copies around — build a library of resources and suggested reading on one of your shelves and turn a section of your workplace into a resource center to LEARN MORE!
Your library should cover four topics — leadership, personal growth, successful business people, and business organization.
For those new to the workforce, it can be difficult to imagine themselves as leaders. Books on leadership can help that path seem less daunting and more attainable. Plus, you can’t be their sole source of inspiration and motivation. Pointing them toward other business experts will not only enhance your credibility, but it will also open their eyes to the vast world of resources at their fingertips. And it will provide them with examples of leadership they can easily visualize and imagine themselves emulating.
A lot of people say they don’t take their work home with them, but they don’t realize how much their workplace experience impacts their personal lives and vice versa. In both areas, you learn about building and maintaining relationships, earning trust and loyalty, operating within a team, etc. So keep some self-help or personal improvement books around for your team members.
Arguably the best kinds of books for young professionals to read are portraits of successful business leaders, whether they’re biographies, memoirs, etc. They’ll undoubtedly feel less alone and find inspiration after reading about these people’s humble beginnings. For instance, look at how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in a toolshed Jobs converted into a bedroom before moving the operation to his parents’ garage.
They will discover that many prominent CEOs started right where they are now, at the so called bottom of the ladder. But they will learn how, through tenacity and perseverance with a long term vision, those people of success climbed that hill and assumed greater responsibility and achieved greater self-satisfaction.
Finally, get them thinking about the big picture — how to organize a business and crystallize a vision for its future. Get them thinking not just about the daily grind but about the long haul.
Working toward success is a lifelong process. That means there is plenty of learning left to do along the way. Your team members should learn something new every day … every journey starts with a first step!