My Learning Manifesto: What I #learnthruwork

Photo taken by Suzanne O’Brien on a non-foggy day on Baker Beach in San Francisco
Photo taken by Suzanne O’Brien on a non-foggy day on Baker Beach in San Francisco

Work is our best learning lab to become more of who we are meant to be—if we let it. I have learned the most about myself and others through work situations. Some of it was hard. All of it made me better.

This is my #learnthruwork manifesto. It is a living document of what I have learned and am still learning. I have added to it, updated it, re-worded it, evolved it. But I have not deleted any of it. I am still learning.

On Ourselves:

  • I learned that good work starts with ourselves.
  • I learned that being scared and excited feels the same in our body. Choose excitement.
  • I learned that reflection is part of learning and growing. Make space for it.  
  • I learned that taking things personally puts unnecessary dents in our creative spirit.
  • I learned that it is better to run toward an opportunity than away from a challenge.
  • I learned that our jobs don’t burn us out. We do.

On Practices:

  • I learned that everyone has enough time and energy—we just choose to use it differently.
  • I learned that our days can be either a reaction or a creation.
  • I learned that good days start the night before.
  • I learned that most 60-minute meetings can be done in 30 minutes, and 30-minute meetings  in 15.
  • I learned that going to the gym or meditating or writing before work isn’t frivolous—it’s essential.
  • I learned that our days can be intentional if we are.

On Communication:

  • I learned that “thank you” goes a long way.
  • I learned that sending a tough email tomorrow is better than sending one today.
  • I learned that humor is needed, wanted, and yearned for at work—we all need a good laugh and often.
  • I learned that telling our story—the real, raw one—is one of the most courageous things we can do.
  • I learned that even when you’re not ready, say “yes” anyway.

On Leadership:

  • I learned that a title doesn’t describe a person—it’s how they listen to you that does.
  • I learned that, mostly, questions are better than answers.
  • I learned that good leaders have your back, no matter what.
  • I learned that when I’m a good leader, my team is better than me.
  • I learned that creating a safe environment of trust is the most important thing leaders can do.
  • I learned that the leaders who question their own judgment spend most of their time questioning others’ judgment.

What have you learned through work? Share with me via Twitter or Instagram with hashtag: #learnthruwork

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