On a recent visit to an ambulatory surgery center with my daughter I found myself curious about how “current” the surgeon was on the procedure she was about to perform. It was evident that state of the art equipment had been installed in the pre-op suite. A roll across the forehead takes one’s temperature. A disposable blood pressure cuff – stethoscopes no longer part of the process. And signing a pad with one’s fingertip gave the necessary approvals to move forward. But what about the actual knowledge and skill of the surgeon and staff? That’s what was going to make a difference that day.

In a field like healthcare it’s common sense that all staff need to stay current and continue their learning. Fortunately, such professions build in requirements for continuing education. But what about leaders? Are their roles any less important than the surgeon that worked on my daughter?

Leaders impact multiple people’s lives every day. Their decisions determine the course of their organization – profits and losses – other people’s career success. And unfortunately, many leaders just assume they’ve acquired all the leadership knowledge they need to have. They stop learning about being a leader.

Leadership is an evolving field just like medicine. New research is available, new strategies are uncovered, one’s skills can become outdated. It is essential that leaders continue to learn – for themselves and their organizations. How can we expect the best from a company unless its leader is committed to learning?

So, leaders, what will you do to continue learning? Commit to reading? Attend a leadership program? Engage with a leadership coach? Complete a 360-degree feedback assessment? There are lots of options – and guaranteed you will learn something that will improve how you lead. Also guaranteed….there are lots of people around you that will thank you!

Take action today:

* Google “top 10 leadership books” and order one.
* Subscribe to Ted Talks at ted.com to receive a notification of talks on leadership.
* Block off one hour per week on your calendar to focus on your learning.
* Make a plan – make a difference. Your leadership abilities matter!