So, my last post was about mentors and teachers. I do want to brag for a moment here – I am lucky enough to have wonderful teachers and mentors, and a good chunk of that comes from this next point – External Influences. By that, I mean experiences, styles, and even knowledge that may not ever relate to what they are teaching us, but it comes out when they give us advice. I believe this to be a point for anyone to take, new to the industry or decades into it. You should become the kind of person who will seek out knowledge of all forms anywhere and everywhere. Every experience can be learned from, and used in some way.
This is going to end up one of those posts that isn't just for future leaders of future workers. Future workers, listen up – EVERY moment that you are in class, you are learning. Every instructor you have, is teaching you something that is NOT on the curriculum, as well as the class you are in. Take it all in. Observe. Take notes. Never be anywhere without a little notepad of some sort to record what you learned. Try to learn something new everyday, even if it doesn't have anything to do with the industry, completely outside of your studies. Find something you can obsess over, and educate yourself about it until you can't anymore. Do it again. And again. Keep doing this. Never take for granted any teacher you have, no matter how much you think they may not be useful to what you are doing or learning. They are. Always.
I can interject a quick personal story here – I have worked a lot of different jobs in the pursuit of finding a career, and had many different managers. Some were awesome, some were... not... and some were just managers – getting the job done, giving me my job to do, and leaving it at a professional level. Each one taught me something new, even if the lesson learned was simply “Don't be the boss that they are.”
This isn't going to be a long post, simply because there isn't much more I can say on this topic. But I can send 1 very important link, and make you start a new, personal game. Go to Wikipedia. Start reading a random page. Follow a link that catches your interest. Read. Continue until it's 2am and you can't read anymore, or you have to work.
That important link? M.I.T free courses. Enjoy!