“Fred has 25 years of experience. I bet he’s pretty good!” This is a fair assumption until you hear from Bill, one of Fred’s previous service managers who replied that Fred has one year of experience repeated 24 times.
What about your doctor? Let’s say he attended college for nine years. Then for the next 20 years, he practiced medicine without additional education. Are you still comfortable with his expertise?
You might say, “That’s not a good example. My doctor must complete continuing education to maintain his license.”
What if his continuing education curriculum is set up to cover familiar material? Students go through the motion of stale and repackaged knowledge in order to obtain accreditation renewal.
Whether you are a patient or customer, don’t you deserve a qualified, knowledgeable, and up-to-date professional? And if you are a contractor, don’t your coworkers and customers deserve a professional who is on top of his or her game?
Pursue Professional Development
In his book Big Potential, author Shawn Achor, offers an interesting perspective.
We spend the first twenty-two years of our life being judged and praised for our individual attributes and what we can achieve alone, when, for the rest of our life, our success is almost entirely interconnected with that of others.
Pursue professional development. Just pursue it alone. Instead, find others who are in similar positions and form a development group. Your company, local chamber of commerce, contractor alliance, or industry trade groups are excellent places to start your journey.
What Should You Pack?
The pursuit of professional development is a lifetime adventure, so it’s best to pack behavior and skills that improve with use.
Intent - Be intentional toward your learning goals and action taken. By way of careful thought, equate the steps you are taking, toward your desired outcome. Invoking intention is like energizing a silent relay in your mind. Be intentional - power the relay, and your mind completes a learning circuit in the brain. A lack of intention means your mind sends information to another part of your brain that stores motion, otherwise known as going through the motion. Once you hit this area, not a lot of information is absorbed.
Curiosity - Curiosity powers learning. And persistent curiosity powers understanding. It’s the life force behind growth and development. Be curious!
Awareness - How many times have you heard, “How could Bill have missed that old capacitor when he changed the motor? I don’t understand why Bill didn’t remove his blinders!” Old capacitors are in books, retail stores, schools and offices. They are everywhere. It’s your job to engage a situation or a person with eyes wide open. Old capacitors are rich learning opportunities and many relate to your life and business. Be aware!
Learn and Retain - As obvious as this sounds, and even with intention, we are always one step away from our knowledge winding up in the abyss. Experiment and practice with different techniques to learn and retain.
- Keep a learning journal
- Use 3 X 5 note cards
- Write and post reviews/commentary of the source
- Video tape yourself explaining the concept
- Highlight, underline, and make notes in books
- Discuss books and other knowledge sources with others
Pursue education that assists in:
- Goal completion
- Project completion
- Personal development
- Career advancement
Teach others - There’s an old saying, “If you want to learn something, teach it.” While teaching spreads knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, it reinforces your grasp and retention of the subject matter.
Act - Nothing gets done without action. Successful business owners not only pursue growth and development but they take action on what they’ve learned.
You know this is true. Consider Bob and Carol. They are friendly HVAC competitors who attended the Service World Expo last year with their spouses. They both spent time learning about the Service Nation Alliance. Carol joined. Bob didn’t. Carol’s company increased revenue by 20% and net profits by 8% over the last year. Bob’s didn’t. Carol took action. Bob didn’t. Take action!
Be grateful - If a teacher, mentor, or other individual helps along on your professional development adventure, thank them. Take the time to sit down and hand-write a note of appreciation. Speak directly to what this person helped you with and tell them of the difference it made.
This will not only make you feel good, but it will help continue the cycle of mentoring and leadership. If mentors (and others) do not feel as if they’re making a difference, they will be more inclined to stop giving advice. Be grateful and show appreciation!
Pursue professional development, take others along, take action on what you learn, and be grateful to those who help along the way!
Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!