Art Markman, a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, executive editor of the journal Cognitive Science and a member of the editorial board of Cognitive Psychology, says: "Innovative ideas emerge when people are able to apply their knowledge to new problems." He offers five suggestions for how to lead better by leveraging your learning.

  • Stop and organize. After a meeting, take a minute to review the three main things that came up. It will help you retain important matters much better.
  • Give yourself permission to learn new things. Reserve quiet time at least once a week to read, watch an educational video or listen to an audiobook. 
  • Be here now. Multitasking is the bane of modern existence. You cannot maximize the quality of your knowledge if you are doing two things at once. Don't try to improve your multitasking ability. Just focus on the task at hand.
  • Explain things to yourself. When you hear a really good speaker or read a good article, take a few minutes to explain the pertinent content to yourself. It's an easy way to reveal any gaps in your understanding.
  • Ask questions. Especially when you find buzzwords blocking your understanding of a key point, ask for clarification. As journalists like to say: "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask."

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