Headquarter's Report: Lifelong Learning is the Lifeblood of Success

Author: Stephanie Czuhajewski, ADA Executive Director

The most successful and inspiring leaders are often proven lifelong learners, never satisfied with the amount of knowledge they have acquired and always anxious to get more. Avid learners also tend to be great listeners—an important skill for managing people, projects, patients and practices alike.

Finding the time to take on educational endeavors, while keeping up with the plethora of personal and professional demands vying for our attention, can be a challenge. However, there is no smarter investment that we can make, than in our own professional development and intellectual growth. Making continuing education a priority can make the difference between being alright and being awesome!

Opportunities for self-study have never been more abundant than in today’s digital world, where we can take free web-based courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), study at the Khan Academy on You Tube, attend an audiology webinar on-demand through the ADA website or Audiology Online and read Audiology Practices “in the cloud”.

However, when it comes to lifelong learning, sometimes there is no substitute for a hands-on, live-in-person, converge-and-converse experience. Those of you seeking a conference overflowing with extraordinary learning opportunities should register for the ADA 2013 Convention. This year’s theme, Great Transformations: Take Your Practice from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Turn to page 40 to discover the slew of primo business and clinical sessions, which feature great topics and will facilitate all learning styles.

One of the best ways to become a lifelong learner is by mentoring and being mentored, either through informal peer-to-peer networking or by way of a formal mentoring program. Your ADA membership is a conduit to mentorship, and your headquarters team is here to provide you with all the information that you need to get started. Whether you are interested in mentoring a student during the ADA convention or finding a seasoned professional, with whom you can commiserate, please contact me at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org. I will be glad to help you identify the right colleague, sensei or student.

One of ADA’s core purposes is to develop resources designed to teach and promote best clinical and business practices. Please let us know how we are doing and what we can do to best meet your needs for lifelong learning.

Business guru Peter Drucker once said that ‘Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.’ The audiology landscape is changing rapidly, but if we continually seek new knowledge and technologies, we can learn the skills for success and avoid learning the hard way.