By Mark Horoszowski (reprinted from his blog, Aspen to Nepal)
I am currently at Experiencia Argentina, a conference for high-impact entrepreneurs and their businesses. The tagline for this year’s event is “LIVE THE EXPERIENCE OF CHANGING THE WORLD.”
The concept is simple: high-impact, responsible businesses are the most potent force in creating jobs and leading innovations that drive positive progress. As such, getting entrepreneurs together to share ideas, learn from each other, and expand their networks will surely make a more positive impact, faster. I couldn’t agree more with this theory. But, not everyone can attend these world-changing conferences. So here are four tips on how to grow your own skills to be more effective:
These four tips center around the notion that we can all help drive more positive progress if we have more experience to empower us:
DEMAND IT: Paid or volunteer, if you want to grow, you have to get more experience. An essential trait of all leaders is experience, and it’s also a fundamental component of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours on why people succeed and excel.
STUDY IT: Another common trait of the best leaders is an unquenchable desire to learn and innovate. Read, write, and watch as much as possible: Blogs, books, videos, conferences, etc. Using coaches and mentors is essential, too.
VOLUNTEER FOR IT: Everybody should give more than they take simply because it is the right thing to do, but in doing so, you can also experience exponential growth in your core skills. So use your skills in different settings to fuel creativity and grow. (Note: the important thing is to volunteer your desired skills, not just volunteer to volunteer).
TEACH IT: To teach is to learn twice. If you can’t teach on the job, try volunteering at schools, being a mentor, or traveling abroad.
Mark Zuckerberg was successful because he loved programming, loved writing about it, loved working on side projects, and loved telling his friends about it. Starbucks is what it is because Howard Schultz loved telling people about coffee, traveled around the world to experience it in different settings, taught others about it, and demanded new opportunities at his job to get better coffee in the hands of more people.
The bottom line: whether you want to grow your career or make a more positive global impact, experience is everything.