Why I Love Students

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In addition to the consulting, research and writing that I do, I teach university students — marketing, management, writing– you name it.

People often ask me if I wouldn’t just rather deal with “paying” customers all day long. Paying customers? So what are students? 😉

But instead of saying that,  I laugh. No. Students are too much fun to give up, I always say.

I love students, and I know that shows in the classroom. I love hearing their take on lessons, and lectures… on life for that matter.  Hearing them and their points of view, understanding the material or even just what they know (or don’t know in some cases) helps me be a better teacher – and frankly business person.
And in the end, I find they always end up teaching me something in the exchange: a blind spot I didn’t know I had; a subject area I wasn’t aware of or had grown rusty on; or just how different people who may seemingly have so much in common can have such different world views.

My clients teach me things in turn. I’ve never met an entrepreneur who wasn’t passionate about his or her “thing” — their technology, their innovation, their cupcakes or toys, or whatever it is they L-O-V-E in big bold capital letters. Ask an entrepreneur to explain how they came up with their ideas…. and be prepared for the industry equivalent of a dissertation. I’ve been priviledged to get to learn about bike shops, bars, home brewery operations, florists, all sorts of restaurants, sporting equipment… you name it. And not ONE of those experiences were boring.

Any good teacher, consultant, or in my own humble opinion, business person, ever stops learning.  The “lesson plans” or “tests” just change.

My advice: Never stop learning. The minute you do, you lose touch with your market, your customers and your employees. And when you lose touch – you run the risk of failure.

Action Steps:

  • Have you grown a little too comfortable in your business?
  • What can you teach someone else? Could you grow as much from taking a college intern on in your business as much as they could learn from you?

There you have it. Class dismissed. No grades or homework from anyone else but you – and the only grades that matter are the difference you make in the world and the number of commas and zeros on your bank balance.

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Category: Organizational Management

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