Our business leadership team recently adopted a new agenda point at our monthly meeting - to make us accountable for our own continuous development. It got me thinking about some of the things I personally do, some on a daily basis, that help me to become more productive and knowledgeable. Here are my favourites:
Audiobooks & Ted Talks
Subscribe to an audiobook service such as Audible and ‘read’ books that will educate you. Next time you travel connect your phone to your in-car system or put on the headset and learn something new. My recent favourites have been, The Chimp Paradox, Becoming a Category of One and the all-time classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I highly recommend watching Ted Talks too. Ted’s Library of inspiring, thought provoking and educational short ‘lectures’ are now massive and the quality is superb.
Set Aside Time To Catch Up
Set aside some private thinking and action time every day. Don’t just open up your email client when you start the day and don’t leave it running in the background. Use some uninterrupted time every day to plan, make lists, complete tasks that sit in your in-tray, generally clear the decks and catch up so that the rest of your day is more productive.
If you are a business leader forget the ‘my door is always open’ nonsense – get on your bike. Move about in your organisation set up your work station in different departments from time to time and spend enough time in your colleagues work environment that you really understand what they do and they get relaxed about having you around.
Go To Where Your Customers Are
Go to the events and exhibitions your customers attend, not where your competitors are. Knowing the challenges and opportunities your customers face is probably the most important market intelligence you can have. Spend time in their pond.
Spend quality time away from the office with your colleagues.
The pub after work is OK but much better to schedule an away day or even away couple of days in a dedicated environment. Somewhere that has the space and facilities for a group meeting, private 1-2-1 meetings, strategic thinking and planning together, walking in the grounds together, eating together, playing games and having fun together. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing this on a regular basis – it’s what the best performing teams do and it works!