I’ve Finally Found a Way to Describe Me

Learning Agility

I often struggle when people ask what my best trait is, why I’ve been successful, or why they should hire me. Now I have the answer: Learning Agility. Yes, it is yet another phrase coined by a consultant trying to make some money, but it fits. I found it in an article named How To Get Hired by Twitter – or Walmart. This led me to the author’s marketing piece on his website, What’s Smarter than IQ?

Both describe me. Here’s the summary:

In a nutshell, learning agility is the willingness and ability to learn from experience and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations. Leaders who are learning agile continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, self-reflect, and get jobs done resourcefully. They see unique patterns and make fresh connections that others overlook.

There are five factors to Learning Agility: mental agility, self-awareness, people agility, change agility, and results agility.

You might see this as a little bit prideful. Or maybe a lot prideful. But you don’t know has frustrating it has been for me to describe what makes me a good employee, regardless of the business, the industry, or the job.

Learning agility is what is needed to be successful in startups, and what Gary argues is that it is also what is needed to be successful in almost any job going forward. If there is any knock on Learning Agility, it is that Gary’s definition of success, basically promotions and salary, may not be everyone’s definition of success. I personally find that these traits work just as well at home, friends, other organizations that I’m involved with, and, strangely enough, driving around town. Yes, I’m the one who finds a connecting alley that helps me avoid a two-light-changes-to-get-through intersection. But that’s a topic for another post.

It also explains why I get bored “turning the crank.” And living in the same place. And going to the same restaurant. Kids help, as they are a constantly changing problem to address. No matter how competent you are parenting a 4 yr old, you’ll be lousy parenting a 5 yr old unless you have a rapid response loop of learning (either from success or failure) and changing the way you deal with the child. But once again, that is a topic that deserves more thoughts in another post.

Categories: Deep Thoughts

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