August 12, 2010

Learning Is More Important Than Results

Cydcor SalesI had a conversation with an employee the other day concerning self-development.  He believed it was vital at this stage in his career to get to the next level and asked me for my advice.  My suggestion was for him to have an intense student mentality right now and to ask for and follow suggestions from his mentors, whether he agrees with the advice or not, as long as he feels the advice is ethical.

Why follow advice that you disagree with?  A well known and respected CEO, and friend of mine, has been coaching me for about four years now and is often giving me suggestions that I feel will lead to a bad result.  I will give him reasons why I feel his advice is bad but after a conversation if he still believes I should follow his suggestion, I will.

The reason I follow his advice is because I want to learn to grow.  If I always do what I think is best or what I feel comfortable with then I will not grow.  I will just be doing the same thing over and over, like a hamster on a wheel.  The key is not the result I get from following his suggestion, but what I learned in the process.

If I follow my coach’s suggestion and get a positive result, that is great and I will have learned new skills that will last me a lifetime. However, if I follow his suggestion and get a bad result, not all is lost.  I will first review the process and results with my coach to see if I executed properly, but if I find that in the end the suggestion just doesn’t work, then I learned a valuable lesson in what not to do in the future.

A good  or a bad result is not important.  What is important is what is learned along the way.  Getting a good result, but not learning from the process, won’t serve you as well long-term as getting a bad result, but learning the lessons from it.