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Importance of Learning and Knowing How to Learn with Patrick Cootes
Sean: Now I want to shift the conversation a little bit and drill down on how important is it for people to be able to learn better as an entrepreneur and as a leader. Because a lot of people tuned in here, maybe some of them not so convinced, not so sold, thinking that, hey, you know, I know what I know, and that’s good enough for me and I think I can make it. How important is learning, really?
Patrick: Anybody listening to us who thinks that learning is not important, I ask you to reflect on this. How important is productivity to you and how do you become productive? Because the answer to that question nine times out of ten is about learning. We become productive by figuring out not only the things that we know but also the strategies that we deploy. And if you aren’t constantly honing your strategies for productivity, then you are not going to be making progress. So my first answer to you is if you care about productivity, you already care about learning. You’ve just been calling it productivity, which is fine by me. Hey, I’m not going to argue with you if you want to call it productivity, go crazy. That’s cool. My second answer is that the attitude of I know what I know I don’t need to learn more has not been the optimal strategy for success for about 50 years.
We are living in the information age, an age of constant and rapid change and disruption in almost every industry. You may have heard it said that every company is now a tech company. And this is fundamentally true. And what that means is if you are not moving fast and learning, you are becoming obsolete. And we all know we’ve read about the threat of technological disruption leading to some fraction of jobs being automated away. And when people think of that, they tend to imagine jobs in the factory, you know, but that is completely out of date. The jobs that are being automated are the ones that involve manipulating data, and therefore the most vulnerable industries are data-orientated industries, industries like accounting and finance and insurance, where you have a great risk of automation and you need to be learning to stay ahead of it.
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