You would be hard pressed to find a personal trainer that would tell you that you can omit exercise from your life and stay in physical shape. So why is it that so many people would expect to stay in mental shape without exercising the mind? Of course I am talking about self-directed adult education.
There is a huge misconception in the United States that education is “go to school, get good grades so you can get a stable job with benefits.” Going back for a masters program in order to get a higher paying job also seems to be the way of the corporate world. I very rarely encounter an individual that is truly pursuing higher education for the purpose of sharpening the mental muscle.
Self-directed adult education and more importantly the willingness to grow and change is the true sign of a leader in the hunt for excellence. I once asked a successful leader what the key to success was. He replied, “Reading.” I said “Really, do I have to?” He said, “No, but you also don’t HAVE TO get your goals and dreams.” Reading is such an essential activity for learning and growing as a leader. Audios and books on CD are a great supplement but unadulterated, old fashioned reading is still a staple for growth.
True leaders don’t let their heads get fat. They make learning a disciplined part of their daily personal development.