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Grow your skills February 29, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Grow your skills, Uncategorized.
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p5130012.jpg  Want to become more effective or more efficient? The Big Dogz know how to do that. They use a three pronged strategy for improving their knowledge and skills.

  1. Read a book a month on management or leadership.
  2. Listen to CD’s or watch DVD’s about management topics.
  3. Associate with successful people.

 Read a book a month. I can hear your response — I do not have the time to read a book a month. Once you make it a priority, you will. If you can not find the time to read a book a month, subscribe to an executive summary service. There are plenty out there, just Google “Book summary service”. Most of them will let you try their service for free. Try them until you find the one you like. Once you get your summaries, be selective on what books you read.  Here is a tip to help you decide if a book is worth finishing. When you get the book, place a bookmark at the halfway mark. Now as you read the book, make notations on new things you are learning, especially new techniques you can use to improve your management ability. If you reach the original bookmark and you do not have at least five entries in your log, don’t finish the book. You can save a lot of time using this approach. Yes, you may miss some good suggestions, but you will be getting a high return on your time investment. Create a book club where you and others read a book then share what you thought was important from the book.  

Listen to CD’s or watch DVD’s about management topics. Use your commute time to listen to CD’s. Try to focus on motivational speakers since it is not a good practice to take notes while driving! Not all your CD’s need to be motivational. Some speakers are quite specific in what they prescribe as effective actions. With CD’s, you may need to listen to the speaker multiple times to get the message. Listening to motivational speakers can make a big difference in your effectiveness. 

Associate with successful people. Is there an AMA (American Management Association) chapter near you? If yes, join and attend networking events. If there is no AMA, then look for local business associations that sponsor networking events. One of the best ways to make sure you are associating with successful people is to create your own group. Meet once a month or once a quarter to swap best practices in management. 

The Big Dogz pay attention to these three elements of the strategy. They include others in their development and harvest ideas to improve. You can do the same thing. Start today by identifying a book you want to read. Order it. Ask around for suggestions on motivational speakers. People who have these CD’s will be happy to lend them to you if you are prompt in returning them. If you like a CD, buy it. Start looking for people to associate with. Soon, you will be running with the Big Dogz!

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