Know-It-All or Learn-It-All?

I  am proud of my wife.  She is currently in nursing school.

She loves learning and has developed a great study strategy.  She makes and uses hundreds of notecards to memorize the multitude of details nurses have to learn and know.  It's paying off.  She has one of the highest GPA's in her class of over 60 students.

It's been a great reminder for me that we should always be in learning mode.

The day we get a "know-it-all" attitude, is the day we stop growing and improving as leaders.

Leaders that want to grow and improve each year,  realize this and commit to being in school for the rest of their life.  That doesn't mean they'll be sitting in a classroom when they are 60.  But it does mean they are constantly learning from...


listening to podcasts

attending conferences

asking for feedback

interacting with people who challenge them

looking for opportunities to get outside their comfort zone

spending time with people who are smarter and sharper than they are

listening to learn from people...people that are younger and older

watching videos like TED talks

What you've learned from yesterday is valuable, but can't replace what you need to learn today and tomorrow.  

If you want to be a life-long "Learn-It-All"  you must be...

HumbleThere's no room for pride in the mind of a "Learn It All."  Rather, the person has a humble attitude that admits there is so much more he or she can learn.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18
A humble spirit enables you to remain teachable.  And as long as you remain teachable, you can continue to grow.  You'll look at every person you encounter as a teacher that you can learn from.

There is something you can learn from every person you encounter.  In many situations, what you learn may be what not to do.

Look at every person you encounter as your teacher.  When you do this,  you will learn valuable lessons every day.


"Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6

When you first start out in ministry, you are hungry to learn and grow.  You go to conferences and take pages of notes.  You read book after book after book.  You seek out mentors to teach you how to lead the ministry.  

But over time, if you are not intentional, you will default into a "been there, done that" attitude.  And that leads to complacency. 

We live in a new age of fast-paced information powered by technology.  The courses you took in college may be irrelevant today.  If you are going to survive and even thrive, you must be a learn-it-all.
"It doesn't matter what you learned - or the courses you took.  All of these things become less relevant over time.  Relying on formal learning is insufficient because every course is fixed at a point in time.  Even the best ones are, really, out-of-date as soon as they’re delivered.  Perhaps shockingly, all our skills have a shelf-life. If we’re not constantly learning, our knowledge and skills decline over time."  Anders Pink
Have a commitment to continous learning.

One reason I write these articles 5 days a week, is because it forces me to constantly be learning, reading and growing.  Let me ask you. 
Are you committed to being in a continous learning mode?  It's an attitude that can take you to a new altitude.
If you want to remain relevant, then make a decision right now that you will be a  "learn-it-all" rather than a "know it all."

God designed us with 2 ears and 1 mouth.  A "learn-it-all" listens twice as much as he/she talks.

A "learn-it-all" continually grows by...
  • asking questions
  • asking for feedback from experienced people
  • learning by observing
  • learning by practice
Hopefully this article has sparked a desire in you to be a life-long "learn-it-all."  One last note - remember - no one wants to be around a "know-it-all." 

Your turn.  How do you practice continual learning?  Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.