Learning like Mark Cuban, it turns out, is a great skill to have. When you are a self-made billionaire, what would your day look like? Sip on some cocktails on your yacht, while you think of where to play the next golf game. Think about your newest acquisition, perhaps? Or learning a new programming language?
When you are a self-made billionaire, what would your day look like? Sip on some cocktails on your yacht, while you think of where to play the next golf game. Think about your newest acquisition, perhaps? Or learning a new programming language?
Cuban on LearningThat's right! Billionaire and Shark on the famous Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, has such a plan always. Inching closer to sixty, he still likes to learn, learn and learn. As he puts it, building your skills is the best way to stay on top of your game. What is he learning? All about machine learning and artificial intelligence. Cuban says that AI is indeed the future of our world, and those who are unaware or ignorant of it cannot hope to survive in the world of the future.
On Shark Tank, Mark is known for making only the most well thought out offers, and the companies he invests in often go on to become multi-million dollar enterprises. He also has a keen eye for detail and spots a lie faster than you can spin it. Currently, he is keeping himself busy with the Python language, a programming language that forms the basis of all machine learning.
How does a busy billionaire find time to study? With the help of MOOCs, of course! Mass Open Online Courses, or MOOCs for short, have gained prominence in recent times for their easy access. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy and Lynda curate these courses across fields of study, from medicine and agriculture to humanities and computer programming.
Are You Learning with MOOCs?MOOCs are touted to become the future of education because they help people all over the world gain access to Ivy League level courses. Who’s complaining? MOOC aggregation platforms often also provide credible course certificates that one can use to showcase their newfound knowledge. As opposed to a full-time degree that would require your full attention, MOOCs can be pursued on the side even with your full-time engagement.
If a billionaire at sixty is still studying, we see no reason not to! The best part? Learners get to choose whatever they wish to study, be it an old passion or a newfound interest, or a skill that will help them advance their careers. Even soft skills courses are now available online.
Convinced that an MOOC is for you? Keep in mind that these courses often lack follow-up, and your discipline alone will take you far. While some courses do have assignments and deadlines, most don’t, and you may soon find yourself sidetracked. If you want to know more about MOOCs and how they hold up, this review can help. Some courses are free while others have a paid track, so choose one that suits your needs. In any case, try to find a group of people whom you can study along with so as to stay on track. Platforms like Coursera are famous for the depth of subject matter while Udemy focuses on the breadth. Lynda is a relatively new offering that helps you choose a career track and pursue courses accordingly.
A Learning CultureSo why all this push for learning? For one, the research linking learning to business success is compelling. “Companies that learn fastest and adapt well to changing environments perform the best over time,” says Edward Hess, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2014).
As a leader or someone aspiring to be one, learning must be on top of your to-do list always. You can choose to enhance a skill that your current role needs, learn a new tool which a partner business uses or like Cuban, think a few years ahead and zone in on what you think you may need to thrive and not just survive!
The onset of robotic automation and the increasing use of technology means that certain jobs are going to start disappearing. This will leave behind more and more roles that will rely on creativity, innovation, and emotional intelligence. Have a learning culture is what will see you and your people through. Businesses with a learning mindset will react positively to changes, disruptions and a dynamic environment. They will be able to apply themselves to deliver a whole host of new ideas and solutions.
Time to start thinking about hitting the books again?
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash