If you have been following me awhile, you’ve likely picked up on one of my core beliefs: that leadership and learning go hand in hand.
As a leader, you want to continue to grow professionally so you can help your team and advance your business. Although we have many opportunities to learn, admittedly we are not as effective as we could actually be.
If you’re like me, you will read something and highlight a part that’s helpful for you or someone you serve. Or you’ll attend a workshop, seminar, or webinar and capture relevant nuggets for later reference. But, then you get busy and forget about the abundance of your newly found nuggets. You may stumble across them at a future date and set them in motion—or not. Does this sound familiar?
I can also be accused of buying books I fully intend to read, but I don’t. It’s not because I don’t want to, but suddenly another book takes priority. I learned that I’m engaging in what the Japanese call Tsundoku—“leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up with other unread books.”
The solution to this madness? It comes from Jim Kwik, author of the best-seller Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life. His basic premise is if knowledge goes unused, then it isn’t power. Like experience, knowledge is only helpful when it’s actually used.
Actively capture knowledge, then quickly find a way to use it.
To do this, the author suggests asking these three questions, then following through:
- How can I use this?
- Why must I use this?
- When will I use this?
As an example, I recently came across this nugget: Nothing bad ever happens when you apply extra effort into becoming an exceptional leader.
How can I use this? – as a note in one of my upcoming leadership tips.
Why must I use this? – to inspire at least one person to put extra effort into leadership and learning.
When will I use this? – in my next weekly leadership tip and as appropriate when I coach, train, or speak.
Try this approach. It works for me. I’m getting more done and feeling even better about my core belief of leadership and learning. And I love applying what I’m learning.