An open letter from Glenn Stearns, CEO of Kind Lending
Dust off your bookbags and grab your reading glasses. We’re going to college.
I know what you’re thinking. Most of you have already done your time. Some might look back on it fondly, some might not. I’m sure there are those who never pursued a degree after high school. There’s no single path to management, and that’s ok.
What matters is that you’re here, with me, in the big leagues.
People rely on the leadership of their organizations to guide them. As one of those leaders, I believe we owe it to our teams and to ourselves to strive for greatness every day. In many ways, improving ourselves can be the most effective way to strengthen and support the teams that report to us.
That’s why, if you’re a leader and you’re looking to up your game, I highly encourage you to continue your education (regardless of where you left off). Doesn’t matter if it’s learning a new skill by watching YouTube tutorials on your lunch hour, or taking night classes to brush up on your social media marketing strategies.
If you’re learning, you’re growing. And leaders NEED to grow to stimulate the success of their teams.
To help get you off your ass and into the library, here’s my three top reasons to go back to school and continue your education.
Here are some cold hard facts. Sorry if they make you squeamish…
If you have a college degree, you’re more likely to be considered for a management position. The reasoning behind this continues to be hotly debated on all rungs of the corporate ladder, but I can assure you that this won’t change any time soon.
Whether it’s to get your Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or beyond, any wannabe leader would be smart to give their education game some serious time and attention.
I know that now, more than ever, price is going to be an obstacle, but you need to look at this for what it is.
An investment in yourself.
If you work hard for it, you’ll come away with something that’ll catch eyes and keep your resume out of the waste bin. Whether you’re looking to move up or into a different position entirely, a college degree shows that you’re hungry and able to complete long term goals.
Take classes in your off-time, in person or online. These institutions want your money… I mean business, and they’re usually willing to work with you.
We’ve all received emails that simply make no sense. Maybe you’ve even sent a few yourself.
Whether the sender was on a time crunch or just lacked the skills to get the point across, it’s instances like these that shape our perception of that person. Even if they’re a good employee, if I have to respond to every email asking what the hell they’re trying to say, they may find themselves out of a job before too long.
Writing is an invaluable skill, and if you’re not on the same level as your colleagues, it shows. You may be thinking to yourself, “But Glenn, I already write alongside the best of them. I’m a modern day Keates. A Shakespeare with a keyboard and no quill. I think I know how to write a frickin email.” and you very well might be. However, we all have room to grow.
Think of your best kitchen knife. It was razor sharp when you bought it, but given enough time and use, you’ll always need to sharpen it again. That’s what education does for us. It sharpens us as people. No matter how prestigious your degree or how expensive your kitchen knife, there comes a time in everyone’s life to get their edge back.
The jury’s still out on why this is, but it’s been proven that adults who’ve attained higher levels of education show less evidence of memory loss as they age.
I don’t know about you, but I found this fact pretty damn interesting. So I did some reading.
If you’re smart, you’ll follow along with me.
An NIA-funded study (from the folks who recently published in The Neurobiology of Aging) found some major evidence supporting the theory that education can pump up your memory in a major way.
They discovered that pursuing higher education teaches your brain to store information in such a way that it’s protected against the decreased memory faculty that comes around with advanced age. Folks that loved to learn even saw their brains reinforced against some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
You and I need to do everything we can to stay at the top of our game. We have deadlines to meet and people who rely on us for guidance. So listen to this, and listen well:
Taking care of yourself and taking care of your team is ONE AND THE SAME.
We’re all going to get old someday, but that doesn’t make us powerless. No matter how long it’s been since you sat in a lecture hall or took a pop-quiz, it’s never too late to continue your higher education.
So hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought. And who knows...
Maybe I’ll see you next semester.