5 things to learn to bulletproof your future

arc3Pay-off: A short guide to what it’s worth learning next
Investment: 4 minutes

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Here’s my top five:

  1. How to think (far beyond your default level of thinking)
  2. How to learn fast
  3. How to identify and solve the right problems
  4. How to lead
  5. How to sell

These, I think, are perhaps the top five most important life, career and business skills available for you to learn and improve. They complement each other too. When one goes up they all go up a a few notches. And notice how typically, they were never taught to us at school.

Who’s future do you care about?

Got kids, a team, or anyone else who’s performance you care about?
If you have kids, I can’t emphasise strongly enough how important it is to help them learn these five for their future, and the pivotal decisions they’ll face along the way.

Are they learning them at school? Probably not enough.

Are you developing them all at work? Probably not enough.

Of course, it’s not just kids and ourselves that benefit from improving these, it’s everyone around you too.

These skills are highly valuable right now, and will put anyone in a stronger position to survive and thrive as they face the future and head into the unknown.

Here’s some ideas to start improving each:

We learn how to think…
  • when we are forced to think for ourselves
  • when we help others learn how to think (don’t do their thinking for them! When you can, help them figure things out)
  • by learning and reading
  • by asking intelligent, different questions to ourselves
  • by forcing more ideas and thoughts out than we currently have
  • by hypothesising, asking ‘what if’ and by exploring opposites and alternatives to our thoughts
  • when we learn how to learn fast, tackle the right problems, lead and shape the thinking of others, and learn to sell
We learn how to learn…
  • by owning and self-directing our learning
  • by seeing the teacher as just one resource of many
  • by trying things out, failing, adjusting, repeat
  • by noticing and amplifying what works best
  • by reflecting on how we learned
  • by seeking out better ways to become more efficient learners
  • by noticing the results and rewards as a result of our learning (where learning translates to earning)
  • when we learn how to think, tackle the right problems, lead, and help others to learn better, and when we learn how to sell (of which ‘learning power’ is perhaps the most important but overlooked by most sales courses capability)
  • more help here
We learn how to identify and solve the right problems by…
  • knowing what problems are interesting to us
  • knowing what problems we are better at solving
  • knowing what problems matter to others for us to help solve
  • knowing what problems others would pay you to solve
  • knowing what problems we are proud to have solved
  • knowing which problems we can solve effectively and professionally without causing collateral damage
  • knowing that life is better when you consciously choose what problems you’d like to spend your time solving (rather than being confronted by those you don’t)
  • knowing that life is better when you can see what problems come attached to your life choices
  • know how and why your own unique strengths and talents are ideal for solving these problems
  • learning more about those problems, the root causes, the parts within your control, the parts beyond your control
  • being able to accurately describe or teach those problems to a ten year old
  • determining the most effective, efficient and where possible the most enjoyable way to get those problems solved (which doesn’t necessarily mean solving them yourself! Consider the entrepreneur’s way of not ‘how can I do this’ but ‘how can this get done’?)
  • learning how to think, learn, lead and sell!
We learn to lead by…
  • stepping up and leading others
  • increasing our respect for others, their uniqueness, their personal desires, values, styles, motivations
  • helping others to think, learn, identify and solve the right problems, lead better, and sell themselves, their ideas, their services and value
  • learning how to sell
  • more help here

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We learn to sell by…
  • understanding, respecting and caring about others
  • meeting others where they are at before leading them towards the right solutions
  • mastering the art of introducing ourselves
  • continuously creating and connecting value
  • expanding the size of our comfort zones
  • keeping our promises to take specific actions
  • helping others to think
  • learning all we can about others challenges, businesses, hopes, dreams, fears
  • learning more about how to solve their problems in continuously new, innovative and better ways
  • not thinking these things
  • knowing precisely what problems we can solve, how, and what it means to others (short and long term) when we do
  • learning to lead other people to make better decisions, take better actions, and solve their own challenges a problems worth solving
  • more help here

Which will make the biggest impact on your own life and career?

Why not start with that, create an action plan, organise it, and start breaking off the first few small pieces?

If you want help with any of these, how to action them into a plan that works, or if you want more support, ideas and resources to build these capabilities continuously give me a shout.

Drip-feed your learning

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P.S if you think this might be helpful to people in your networks, I (and I’m sure they) would really appreciate you sharing! Thanks.

P.P.S More of my posts here

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