It is costly to be ignorant today. Knowledge is at everyone’s fingertips. However, the know-how to bring the pieces together into working strategies is still a high demand area. Though we all have access to information, it does not mean we all know how to create value from the information.
It’s important more than ever to continually be growing personally. This has to be a focal point not only to remain competitive, but also relevant. It is the job we have as knowledge workers. In a way, it is sharpening our tools. The tool is our mind.
Here are some strategies to continue to increase your value to others:
- Read Deeply. We all read emails, chat, instant messaging and forums. How about a book that deeply engages your thinking. Books become us as we engage the mindset and themes of an author. They change you and help you shape the world around you. Keep a Kindle or paper copy always available. Leaders read and readers lead. I keep several books going at all times and with me as much as possible. When there are breaks in the day or I have down time, I pick up books. They mentor me and equip me to provide value.
- Publish Your Thinking. Today, more than ever, you are what you publish. Put yourself out there and create content which provokes thought, action and change. It forces you to clarify your thinking. It forces you to grow. I enjoy writing for my audiences because it not only clarifies my convictions, but it helps me pull together the things I read and the problems I am trying to solve.
- Teach Others. To teach is to learn again. When you share what you learn, it is not only for the recipient’s benefit, but for yours also. Whether you can have a virtual meeting, a workshop or one-on-one time, use it to share your knowledge. The raw data you have becomes relevant and articulate as you share and teach.
- Take Responsibility. Assume every problem can be solved. This attitude alone will help you grow. As you face new problems every day, your creativity will grow more from your attitude than anything else. If you believe there is an answer, then you start to look around for answers rather than excuses. You can learn to bring resources to the table in people, technology, content and systems. It is the mark of leadership and it is earned each problem at a time. Savor the opportunities. They help you grow.
There are plenty of other strategies as well, but if you can focus and practice these in your daily routines, then you will grow your leadership muscles. I find that a bit of work in these areas differentiates those that are making change happen from the masses. It is work and perseverance. It is habits. If growing is important to you then I would encourage you to integrate these strategies into the daily opportunities you have in the rhythms of life and business.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below.