RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Have you given up?

Yesterday was the final session of our Leadership MasterClass for 2023. It's an incredible program that allows us to work alongside leaders for seven weeks. We get to know them and discuss challenges, successes and things we want to accomplish.

This week, we asked about goals they accomplished in 2023 and one thing they want to achieve in 2024. One participant shared that she, for the first time, had written down her four most important goals, and as a result of writing them down, she was able to review and focus on them quarterly to ensure that she was on track to accomplish them. There's probably a sales tip right there. Others talked about learning, professional development, reading and gaining new knowledge.

Surprisingly, that's not normal. Seymour Popert, a computer scientist, wrote the book Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. Popert shares some startling news about how many approach learning:

"An unknown but certainly significant proportion of the population has almost completely given up on learning. These people seldom, if ever, engage in deliberate learning and see themselves as neither competent at it nor likely to enjoy it. The social and personal cost is enormous.

Although negative self-images can be overcome, in the life of an individual they are extremely robust and powerfully self-reinforcing. Deficiency becomes identity: 'I can't learn French, I don't have an ear for languages;' 'I could never be a businessman, I don't have a head for figures' ...

If people believe firmly enough that they cannot do math, they will usually succeed in preventing themselves from doing whatever they recognize as math. The consequence of such self-sabotage is personal failure, and each failure reinforces the original belief. And such beliefs may be most insidious when held not only by individuals but by our entire culture."

This time of year is an excellent time for reflection and planning. Did you accomplish what you wanted to achieve in 2023? What do you know today that you didn't know last year? What are some challenges that you were able to overcome through learning new things? As you plan 2024, the same questions can be utilized to create your vision for 2024. If you choose to engage in this reflection and planning, take the advice of our Leadership MasterClass student, who said, "Writing (goals) down and reviewing them made the difference between success and failure."

Happy Friday!

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development