Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.1

Henry Ford

When people discover that I launched NetCom Learning at the ripe old age of 21, they often ask, “Russell, how did a computer scientist from Bangladesh end up starting a business? How did a guy without any business experience become CEO of a successful company?”

“For one reason,” I respond. “My love of learning.”

My passion for learning is the dominant force in my life. My parents raised me to be curious, to read, and to ask questions, and in the process they helped instill in me a deep understanding that learning is the key to a successful, satisfying life. It is this passion for learning that took me from a middle-class boyhood in Bangladesh to my success as a leading American CEO.

Today I see that without realizing it, I built a framework for learning that has helped me focus on what I need to know and allows me to keep growing and developing new skills. I set learning goals and identified the competencies I needed, and then determined the best methods for mastering those competencies. I surrounded myself with mentors and hired coaches; took courses in sales, marketing, communication, accounting and finance, leadership and management, and more; and read everything I could get my hands on. I applied everything I learned, using my business as a laboratory to test new skills and concepts.

As I developed more and more knowledge and expertise, I discovered that I could apply my personal learning ...

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