If you stopped learning, you stop growing. Stop growing and you become less and less valuable to your company, your friends and yourself. Paul teaches at Pace University – he surrounds himself with the energy, the ideas and the minds of young people 18-22. He teaches them new things all the time. But, they also keep him fresh because you can’t teach without learning. What do you do to ensure your learning is everyday and ongoing?
March 2011 - PS Insights
What’s your real job? Not the title. Not the description. What do you really do, whom do you do it for (hint: the correct answer is “our customers”) and how can you make it the best that job can really be?
Got talent? Talent is just a town in Oregon. Google it. You’ve got to move beyond “talent” to becoming a person who can deliver on that promise. There are plenty of talented people who don’t put their skills to use or their best plans into action. Talent without commitment and follow through is just a roadside attraction and a forgettable visit.
“Idea” is such a simple little word with a heavy agenda tied to it. It’s not enough to have the idea, you have to bring it to life. That requires a team, a plan and a process. If having an idea was all we needed, we’d all be millionaires. Or as William Shakespeare wrote: “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.” Ask yourself whether you’re an Idea person or an Execution person. Then do your job well – but partner with people who do the other job brilliantly.
Trying to solve a problem? Chew on it. . .then give it some time to digest. Sometimes NOT thinking about a problem is a way to solve it. Henri Poincarre, the French philosopher and mathematician wrote about this phenomenon in his book “Science and Hypothesis.” Give the subconscious a little time to chew over the problem and you’ll be amazed at what can happen.
Someone bring you an idea you think is terrible? Try flipping it 180 degrees and see if it can be made brilliant. It’s an exercise we wrote about in our book, “Breakthrough!” and an exercise we use in our workshops. If you think an idea is really bad, ask yourself how you could make that idea good…how you could make that idea great. The enemy of bad could be terrific…and, you might just come up with a new idea that will revolutionize your business.
We all have great ideas from time to time. But just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean you should pursue it. We’ve all had ideas that someone else brought to market and we’ve said to ourselves, “Hey! I thought of that years ago – why didn’t I do it?” Because having a good idea and implementing a good idea are two different things. One requires a moment of inspiration. The other requires years of dedication and hard work. So before you get all excited about your good idea, ask yourself if you believe in it enough to do the hard work to make it happen. If not, just smile and move on. If yes, get to work!
When was the last time you turned away from the keyboard, put your feet up on the desk and just…thought? One of our partners calls it “window time” and it’s invaluable. The computer seems to always demand an immediate response. The window invites you to think. Which is what makes you more valuable and more indispensible than your computer.
Give yourself an art day. One day a month, sneak out of the office, go to the local museum and spend 3 hours being inspired by the great masters. Or challenged by provocative new works. Get out of your office, get out of your worries. Get out of your head. In short: Recharge.
Instead of fighting the 3pm sugar drop with a candy bar, do what most NBA players do: embrace it with a power nap. Close your door or find a hideaway and grab a refreshing break. A great ten minutes to recharge. Or take a hard look at your diet and find out why you’re having a 3pm sugar drop. Eat better, eat more often and maximize your energy…and, productivity.