The Life-Changing Magic of Active Learning

Three ways I believe my new book can transform your life and career 

It’s release day for my new book, How Leaders Learn! Get it TODAY wherever you buy books!

Every penny of the book’s proceeds goes to a cause that could not be dearer to my heart: The Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute.

I’ve had a few people ask me why I wrote How Leaders Learn, and the answer is simple: I believe this book has the power to transform your life and career.

And today I want to share why.

The most successful leaders I know are avid learners. They are always seeking input and ideas that will help them develop.

But that’s only half the story.

They're not just avid learners. They're what I call active learners

You can be an avid learner and learn something, but not put it to use. 

Active learners are different. They seek out ideas and knowledge wherever they can find it. And then they pair it with action and execution. That’s what makes them successful!

I wrote this book to help you unlock the power of active learning. Think of it as your guidebook to developing the habits and mindset you need to master this priceless skill.

When you do, you can enrich every area of your life. Let’s go through three of my favorite benefits together. 

1. Find breakthrough ideas.

Active learning is a goldmine for big ideas. By observing what’s working well for others and tweaking those ideas to fit your own needs, you can come up with some really innovative solutions.

This is where pattern thinking comes into play. I wrote at length about this recently, but it’s all about spotting trends and strategies that are successful elsewhere and figuring out how to make them work for you.

Here’s one of my favorite examples of using pattern thinking in my career. It comes from my time with Frito-Lay, when we were seeking new product ideas for Doritos.

My team and I took a trip to the grocery store. We wanted to learn what was working in the world of packaged goods. When we walked down the salad dressing aisle, we learned that ranch dressing was the fastest-growing flavor in the salad dressing category. 

And that learning sparked the idea for Cool Ranch Doritos! I can still remember the moment the first test batch came off the line in the lab. They were delicious, and we knew customers were going to love them. Sure enough, they did—all thanks to pattern thinking and active learning.

When you can mix external inspiration with your own creativity, you’ll find some game-changing ideas.

How Leaders Learn features a whole chapter on pattern thinking, plus lots of other strategies you can use to tap into new levels of innovation and creativity.

2. Get big things done with your team

To lead well, you need to have a vision of where you want to go. It’s your job to get people in the boat with you and start rowing in the same direction.

That takes a lot of confidence.

But if you really want to excel in leadership, you’ve got to combine that confidence with humility.

Humility says, “I don't know everything. I can't do it by myself. I need you.”

And that’s exactly the mindset an active learner develops. They’re always striving to learn from other people, environments, and companies. 

That’s because active learners value feedback.

You invite truth tellers into your life, and people start to share what they really think. You get more buy-in (and better ideas) because people truly believe you when you say you want to hear from them.

That’s a powerful posture for a leader to have, because it gets other people more involved and committed to your big vision. 

If you want to build a team that gets big things done, it starts with you embracing the habit of active learning. So much of How Leaders Learn is devoted to this incredible alchemy that happens—both for yourself and for your team—when you pair learning and action. 

3. Deepen your relationships.

I’ve learned so many valuable things from podcasts, books, and courses over the years.

But I’ve learned even more from the people in my life.

While it’s easy to think of learning as a solitary pursuit, it’s a deeply relational habit.

And because of that, becoming an active learner can improve every important relationship in your life, both at work and at home.

Here’s why. 

Like I pointed out earlier, seeking input from others shows that you need them and value what they have to say. That alone is a powerful way to strengthen any bond.

Plus, active learners are reflective. They know they need to have a habit of stillness in order to process and apply whatever they’re learning. 

Being an active learner makes you more aware of how you impact others. It helps you become more honest with yourself about the opportunities you have to improve. 

The growth and development you get from active learning reaches beyond just strategies and ideas. It helps you connect deeply with others and get better in every area of life. 

If you read How Leaders Learn with a willing heart, I know it will change the way you relate to people, both at work and at home, so you continue to grow into the kind of person people love to partner with.

Now more than ever, I’m 100% convinced that active learning is the foundation of just about every other important leadership habit.

If you’re not constantly seeking knowledge and then applying that knowledge to your life and your work, there’s no way you’ll achieve the success you’re after.

How Leaders Learn will show you how to seek knowledge wherever you can and inspire you to say:

I'm going to become a know-how builder. I'm going to figure out who I can learn from and where I can go. I'm going to accelerate my IQ points by becoming the best possible leader I can be. 

When you do, I know you're going to flourish in your career. You’re going to learn how to be a better person, friend, parent, and spouse.

And you’ll be helping an important cause, too, because 100% of this book’s proceeds goes to support the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute, which provides care and management of diabetes during all stages of life.

Order How Leaders Learn today!

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Tell me how YOU bring active learning into your life as a leader by commenting below. I’d love to learn from you!

Your Next Step

Order How Leaders Learn and start mastering the #1 habit of the world’s most successful leaders. Send your receipt to and I’ll send you the first chapter and other great extras instantly.

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