What are you Learning?

Leaders are Readers and Learners, What are you Learning?

By Janet Kendall White

I am sure you have heard the saying Leaders are readers. I have been known to say that in leadership training, probably more than once per session. It comes from President Harry S. Truman “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”  I have always been an avid reader and I bought into, and still do, that saying. I think that it goes beyond just reading though. You have to get to the “Why”.

One of many reasons is to learn. Learning has been on my mind more than usual the past few months. I have had the opportunity to acquire two certificates in a short timeframe and the learning came from videos, Zoom chats, forums, practice and many other means including reading. It also came from “releasing”. Receive, retain, release is something I learned many years ago. All 3 R’s are important for learning.  The releasing can be you sharing with one other person or presenting to a group, release is a key element of your learning.

Trying to filter down 16-18 hours of training material from a certificate program to share my learning recently caused me to really think about the concepts in a different way. Being able to articulate the concepts and answer questions only adds to my being able to retain that knowledge and share it again at a later date.

I believe we should all be learning junkies if we are leaders.

There are significant benefits, I would like to share just a few here:

  • It gives you added value and something to share with your followers
  • It sets the example for your followers
  • It almost always expands your circle and network
  • It allows you to build on other’s experiences
  • It leads to different thoughts, ideas, and innovation
  • It keeps you energized, motivated, vibrant

There has been much written on the benefits of both reading and learning. Here are a few additional articles:




Leadership can be a complex thing and it often involves dealing with situations that you can’t plan for. Uncertainty is the norm, change is constant. Agility as a leader has become critical. Agility as it relates to emotional intelligence to deal effectively interpersonally, agility to draw on others experiences you have heard or read about, agility to come up with new ideas, agility to problem solve both on the fly and with a more considered data driven approach.

Learning is critical to leading effectively now more than ever. What have you learned lately? What have you read? What development opportunities have you put yourself in? How have you shared those with others so that you “Release” to further your learning and help others?

Even one of my favorite fictional authors knew the importance of learning if you don’t believe me: “Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.” Tom Clancy

My most recent recommended book: Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.  My most recent certificate: Measuring Return on Investment.

What’s yours and what did you learn?

For the complete December edition of Soar to Success: https://soartosuccess.eliteexpertsnetwork.com/2021/December/