EXPLORE - Spring 2015 - (Page 12)
leArning is cOntinuOus
Five Pillars to Ensure You Never Stop
By Walt Grassl
1. You Are responsible for
You alone are responsible for your education. Whether or not it makes sense to
invest in a formal education, there are free
and for-fee learning opportunities available to everyone. The public library and
the Internet are two examples.
12 www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Spring 2015
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Those who are determined and who
work hard often spend a lot of time and
effort to learn new skills and maintain their
existing ones. They display the most current knowledge of new technology and
ideas. Having employees who will improve
themselves over and above the companysponsored training is critical to an organization wanting to innovate and improve.
Eleven years ago, Ben got a job working
in the mailroom at a local business during
the summer before starting college. The
company had been in existence for over 60
years and was currently being led by Jack-a
long-time employee and company legend
who started in the mailroom. Three weeks
into the job, on his way from the basement
to the top floor, the elevator stopped and
who should enter the elevator but Jack. He
smiled at Ben, introduced himself, and mentioned that he started out in the mailroom.
Ben was a little star struck, but as they both
exited the elevator, Ben asked if Jack had
any advice for him.
"Never stop educating yourself," Jack
said. "In fact, come into my office and let me
elaborate. I have 15 minutes before my next
meeting." Jack proceeded to share these five
pillars for continued education:
source of education
is through people.
Spend time with
people who can
do things that
you can't. It may
mean volunteering to stay late to
going to lunch with
associates, or findCurrent
ing a mentor.
You can also learn
by taking on challenging
assignments that are above
your skill level. Discuss the help
you will need to be successful, and
the company leadership may reward your
initiative by providing an experienced staff
member oversee your on-the-job training.
As your time with the company grows,
You can learn pretty much anything, if
seek lateral transfers or increased responsiyou work hard at it.
bility without necessarily a corresponding
increase in title or pay. Realize you are making
2. No Entitlements
yourself more valuable to your employer, and
Time in service should be no guarantee
view the stretch assignments as an investof advancement in a successful business. It
ment in yourself.
is what one learns with his or her experience
Although we are living in a time of an
that determines the value of the service time.
increasing sense of entitlement, we must all
take care of ourselves.
In other words, if you put in your time, you
are guaranteed nothing.
any talented people
feel that they do not
have anything new to
learn in their chosen
field. They believe
what got them there
re ible ion
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3. You Can't rest on Your Laurels
"When you stop
moving forward and
rest on your laurels,
in actuality you are
falling behind all the
others who continue
to move forward."
Many talented people feel that they do
not have anything new to learn in their chosen field. They believe what got them there
is enough. They become complacent. They
decide they don't need to put in more effort
and stop striving for success.
When you reach a goal, celebrate your
success, but identify your next goal and begin
to take action. When you stop moving forward and rest on your laurels, in actuality you
are falling behind all the others who continue
to move forward.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Spring 2015
Message from the President
Engaging and Propelling Environmental Services
Empowering Frontline Staff
Learning is Continuous
Leadership in Education
Five Creative Ways to Keep Training Engaging
Meet a CHESP
AHE News & Updates
EXPLORE - Spring 2015