There’s an old saying: You Can’t Teach
An Old Dog New Tricks. I’ve never believed that to be true and as an old dog I
am continuing to learn new tricks.
I am very fortunate. During the day I
work for a firm that specializes in website design, development and marketing.
I am surrounded by many talented people that are younger than me. I always say,
“I learn something new every day”. And I do. But, in my role as a leader of the
organization, much of what I learn from the younger team members does not
necessarily get applied. I am not a designer or programmer. So, how do I learn
new tricks? I read, watch and listen.
Reading, as I’ve been preaching lately
to my children, is an absolute must in life. In order to stay on top of my
industry and my role, I must make time to read. From a sales leader’s
standpoint, I find it necessary to know what my competition and clients are
doing in the market. And, every so often I come across a solid leadership,
management, finance or marketing book that provides enlightening approaches to
dealing with many of the rigors I face.
Watching comes into play on a daily
basis. With the ease and speed of uploading video to YouTube, I can source
information in quick, digestible chunks. I try to watch 3-5 video segments per
business week regarding my industry or similar industries. I rely on my
coworkers and colleagues to share ideas on trends or people they value. I find
this to be a great way to learn at least one new idea (or trick) to apply that
week or the following. My goal is to at least “try” it and sometimes these new
ideas (tricks) work out and I keep them in my routine.
And finally, I listen, and I mean listen
intently. I have a driving routine every morning when I head into the office. I
listen to the same talk show on the radio for news and interviews. It is my
starting point for the day of learning something new. Don’t get me wrong, I
love music, and do need some downtime when driving. But, I find my daily
journey of learning new tricks really begins with being prepared for the day
ahead, and what better way than a routine of news.
Can an old dog learn new tricks?
Absolutely, I am proof, but you must be willing to learn. Accept that learning
is a part of your day, week and month. Do not be hardheaded, but rather open
minded. You too will learn new tricks, and when you do, you’ll become a better
sales person and sales leader.