Photo of a man reading a book with bookshelves full of books behind him

Recently, I was asked: “What is the most valuable piece of advice you would give to anyone new at TCC who is looking to grow and looking to be with the TCC family long term?”

I often ask folks in interviews what their learning style is, how they stay up to date, how they grow and improve themselves. Most of the time I get some version of ‘I learn by doing’ and ‘I grow by learning from those around me.’

Folks, that’s not a plan. I love hands-on learning too BUT that limits you to your personal experiences whereas every book you read allows you to download the distilled life experiences of another human being. I’m a voracious reader, I’ve the inestimable benefit of learning from the lives of hundreds and hundreds of others.

Want to advance in life? Make a life-long habit of developing yourself; create a structured learning program and keep adding to it. Believe me, there is always more to learn, always new layers to uncover, new subtleties and nuances to be mastered. Read, Read, Read. Reading not your preference? I listen to books on audible whenever I’m in car. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Baker’s Dozen of Key Attributes for Those Who Wish to Grow and Advance:

  1. 360 Degree Leadership: Primarily through Culture and Commitment, not Command and Control (7 Habits). Is your life your sermon? (30 Methods of Influence)
  2. Coachable:Able to give AND receive effective Feedback (Thanks for the Feedback: Even when its off base, poorly delivered and frankly you are not in the mood)
  3. Accountability:Able to hold self and others accountable; proactively have crucial conversations (Radical Candor/Crucial Conversations)
  4. Project Management Skills:Clearly Articulate Desired Result, set Accountability Checkpoints, Expect the Best and Inspect (sufficiently/intelligently) for What is Expected, anticipate likely failure points and proactively resolve.
  5. Critical Thinking Skills: Can you sort the wheat from the chaff? The signal from the static? Can you pick the key variables in a situation and impact them?
  6. Systems Thinking Mindset:(Upstream/1st half of 5th Discipline)
  7. Fire in the Belly/Burning Sense of Immediacy:(Extreme Ownership)
  8. Self-Knowledge/Ability to Self-Sculpt:(Unlimited Power/Awaken The Giant Within/Man’s Search for Meaning/The Road Less Traveled/Dare to Lead/Real Magic/Learned Optimism/Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway)
  9. Deep Commitment to Continuous Learning/Voracious Appetite for Knowledge:(The Personal MBA)
  10. Influence, Persuade, Motivate, and Mentor:Ability to motivate, engage, and guide yourself and others in becoming their Best Self more often
  11. Cultural Ambassador: Be a Torch Bearer for Growth Mindset/Mission Statements/4 Values/Positivity/Solutions Oriented POV: Attitudes are Contagious, is Yours worth Catching?
  12. Be a Bench Builder: Spot, recruit, and develop the best. Everyone you help grow, grows you. (Recruit Rockstars/Who)
  13. Develop Your EQ: The ability to understand and manage your emotions and sense and respond appropriately to others is invaluable.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier