Discovering Life, Learning and Leadership

Do you love to learn?  Are you eager to grow?  Do you have a plan that addresses learning and growth?

On Friday afternoon, it was my pleasure to participate in an In-Class Interview Session at BCIT (the British Columbia Institute of Technology where I graduated from in 1980) and to speak with students regarding their educational plans and future careers.  I found myself sharing with them from my own experience as well as advice that others had shared with me, including:

  1. Be a learner.  It is important to be curious and to look for opportunities to learn, wherever those opportunities may arise.
  2. Completion of your formal education is just the beginning – commit to lifelong learning.  Set personal goals for other formal education and augment your education with reading books, taking professional development courses, attending leadership summits and gaining experience in a range of areas through work and volunteering.  Your formal education is a great start and it is important to work hard and do your best to learn as much as possible.  However, you won’t be able to learn enough in school and we live in a world that is changing rapidly.  As such, you need to engage in lifelong learning.
  3. Create a personal Vision & Strategy.   It is important to have a personal Vision & Strategy and to ensure that it addresses your own personal development.  For example, in my Life Vision I include the concept of personal growth and the development of my full leadership potential right up front in my Life Purpose.  I believe that this is critical if you really want to make a difference in life.  Similarly, in Creation Technologies’ Vision & Strategy, we address people development in our Envisioned Future, Core Strategies, Strategic Initiatives and Milestones.  It is important to know where you are going with your lifelong learning and to have a plan to get there.
  4. Update your development plan at least annually.  I have found it very helpful to invest a few hours each January to update my Core Strategies and Personal Objectives and to ensure that there is a strong personal growth component included.  On a weekly basis (usually on Friday afternoons but sometimes I am not as regular as I should be) I assess how I am doing on achieving my Personal Objectives.  At Creation Technologies, we discuss development as part of our Annual Partnership Discussions and I augment this with an annual Professional Development Plan which summarizes my key development activities and reflects the input that I obtain from our CEO Team, Board of Directors, an external coach and others.  I trust you are getting the feel that lifelong learning is very important!

My wife Judy and I have been encouraging our children in their lifelong learning for many years and it is paying off.  We are delighted to see that all three of them are eager learners and, at present, dedicated students.

Last week on Wednesday, it was Judy and my pleasure to attend two BCIT Scholarships and Awards ceremonies. The first one was for the BCIT School of Business where we were excited to witness our son Matthew receiving the following three Achievement Awards:

  • The BMO Bank of Montreal Award for Financial Management
  • The CGA (Certified General Accountants) Academic Excellence Scholarship
  • The Francis K. Chan, CGA, CFE Award

Matthew Tymos receiving awards at the 2011 11 16 BCIT School of Business Awards Ceremony


The second ceremony on Wednesday afternoon was for the BCIT School of Health Sciences and we were delighted to see our daughter Brittany receive The Prosthetics and Orthotics Association Western Canada Scholarship.

Brittany Tymos receiving scholarship at the 2011 11 16 BCIT School of Health Sciences Awards Ceremony


We were reminded of another special day in June of last year when our son Nathan served as Valedictorian for his BCIT Computer Information Technology class and when he received the following two awards:

  • BCIT Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Leadership
  • Computer Information Technology Award for Academic Excellence

Nathan Tymos serving as Valedictorian and receiving awards at the 2010 06 24 BCIT Computer Information Technology Convocation and Awards Ceremony


As parents, we are so thankful to see our children working hard and doing well in their education.  This, of course, is only the beginning of an ongoing journey in lifelong learning.

Are you committed to lifelong learning?  What advice would you provide to students and others in terms of their education and career development?  I welcome your thoughts and comments.

6 Comments to Lifelong Learning and BCIT Awards

  1. Paula's Gravatar Paula
    Nov 22, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Arthur,

    This is truly inspiring me.
    Thank you for sharing your life testimony ,

  2. Kathy Young's Gravatar Kathy Young
    Nov 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a great talk and congratulations to your children for such outstanding acheivements.

    One piece of advice I would add is for everyone to do something that they are passionate about and to step outside of their comfort zone as much as possible. It broadens your perspective and keeps the engine driving your passions well oiled. I learned how to scuba dive last year, went on some pretty exciting multi-day kayak trips, and I like to travel a lot. While this may not seem related to my work, it’s those times when I do things beyond my comfort zone that give me the confidence to take calculated risks at work and to acknowledge that things that seem pretty scary really aren’t when you open your mind to possibilities beyond the status quo.

    Sure, people think I am crazy when I tell them about the 12 ft shark and school of barracudas I encountered on a dive in Cozumel, the wolves I encountered on a remote beach in Clayoquot Sound, or the huge ocean swells I had to paddle through for a few hours to get to more sheltered waters. Those experiences (and many others) have taught me that I can rely on my training and instincts and apply them to my every day life and career very successfully. Not only that, but I am fortunate to have experienced them.

    Personal acheivement is an important ingredient for professional success. All of the highly successful people I know have passionate pursuits outside of their careers, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  3. kathy young's Gravatar kathy young
    Nov 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    It was exciting! Your retweet of Terry Small’s musings on having a sense of adventure summed up my thoughts above quite succinctly!

  4. Joy Booker's Gravatar Joy Booker
    Nov 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Arthur for the great advise on Lifelong learning and congrats to you and your family on all the wonderful achievements! …As I watch my daughter go through the high school ups and downs, I have told her to always try and be open to listen, understand and learn from others.

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