After a lot of prodding by friends and colleagues who said, “You should write a book, you know so much”, I finally sat down to determine how to best bring my years of experience and knowledge to a wider audience. The result is CEO Atlas, an e-learning platform for CEOs who want to grow their business. This became my way of paying it forward to the incredible CEOs who have made my corporate journey all the richer. In many ways, CEO Atlas is a natural extension of what I have been doing with business owners on a daily basis. It is based on what I have experienced, observed, and learned over time from working side by side with business owners and senior management. It is also in support of one of my core beliefs- ever learning. You do not know what you do not know and you can always learn something from anyone.
As CEOs, we often do not make the time to stop, take a deep breath, and consider how we are running our businesses. We stop thinking about new ventures; we do not identify new ideas. We do not commit the time or energy to our business as we did when we first started out. We fail to get others involved, ask for help, and be honest with our own shortcomings. In fact, the very skill set, talents, and perspectives we depended on to start our business are the tendencies we now quiet and keep dormant. We do not have time for such thoughts!
As business owners, we have an obligation to not only invest in our team, but to also invest in ourselves. We need to be ever-learners; pumping the brakes from time to time to be introspective and thoughtful. We need to set aside the time to assess where we are now, find tools to help create plans for growth, and start asking the difficult questions.
I have long believed that learning should be part of our every day, particularly when we are leading companies. To do that successfully is to:
- Open your eyes and ears
- Find the best way for you to learn so it comes naturally and becomes a habit
- Include others (everyone has something of value to share) and actively solicit outside perspectives
- Ask questions; actively listen
- Test assumptions and preconceived notions
- Review history and adjust what you are currently doing to incorporate new ideas
The act of learning needs to become engrained in every minute of your day. Always striving to learn more; refusing to be content with current level of knowledge; being open to receiving ideas. Imagine all you will learn and from whom you will learn.