Opportunities for Learning are Everywhere

Are you aware of the learning opportunities around you? Are you stuck in your comfort zone, and find yourself going through your daily routine with little variation? Lifelong learning aspirations can be combined with your normal daily opportunities to rejuvenate your spirit.

Everyone can teach something. It is easy to miss learning opportunities. Your life is filled with your priorities and tasks you must complete. You do not have time to look around for new opportunities. But by not being aware, or grasping the value that every person around us has, you risk missing many good things in life.

Next time you get a telephone call from an associate or a colleague, take a chance, and ask them a question unrelated to their call. Ask them about a project, or ask them about a decision they made, or ask them about their toughest current challenge. That one question that you ask can impact you.

For a challenge today, take these three actions:

  1. Open your eyes. See opportunity in every human contact you have today. Make a list of the names of each person you meet or talk with today.
  2. Force yourself to interact. Ask questions that create an opportunity to learn. Practice your listening skills, and concentrate on the message, and also the person. How are they reacting to your discussion?
  3. Recognize the impact on yourself. At the end of the day, reflect on how this list of people affected you. Take the information you learned today and decide if there are next steps that will help you. What about extending help to those people? Did they reveal areas that they needed support?

At the end, you should be able to recognize that each day provides us with opportunities that many times we ignore. Each day can be so much more than just a routine or just a job. If you find this technique successful, then repeat it. Begin using it once a week, or even daily.


Get in the Spirit

No one can deny the power of a positive attitude. Countless stories exist in medicine, sports, and the workplace on the impact a positive attitude creates. You can search the National Institute of Health website, and find details of over 40 studies that included the impact of optimism on healing.

When we speak of spirit, it has a different meaning. We typically use phrases like “the spirit of the season”, “team spirit”, or we want an event to have a certain spirit. Spirit typically does not relate to just one person. It relates to the atmosphere surrounding a group or an event.

But attitude and spirit are related. A team with good spirit is a collection of people working together with good attitudes. A collection of attitudes can be the core of the spirit.

If you want to improve your team’s spirit, or you want to create a spirited environment, you need to start with attitude. So today, there are 3 questions you should ask yourself:

1. Have I checked my attitude recently?
2. Am I positively influencing those around me with my positive attitude?
3. Am I building a powerful positive team spirit?

Three Ideas for Growing Your Team

You are committed to your personal growth. You are following John Maxwell’s Law of Process to improve your leadership ability every day. Great! But don’t forget your team. One difference between good leaders and great leaders is that great leaders provide opportunities for their team to grow also.

You know the importance of personal growth, and it is just as important for your team. From one view, it is more important, because you are only one person, your team consists of many individuals all focused on helping you succeed. You should have a keen interest in making them grow. They are your team!

Once you have made the commitment to add more value to them, what can you do? Here are three very simple techniques. You can use them all, or use others, but you should start today. Today start a program that will give your team a daily growth path.

1. Book Studies

Lead your team through a book study. There are many valuable books to select from. You can focus on leadership (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, The Leadership Challenge, or others). You can focus on personal growth (Today Matters by John Maxwell, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, or others).

You are investing your time and effort in leading this effort. You team will appreciate it, and will be on the path of self growth.

2. Training

If you don’t have time to lead a book study, you can always bring in a professional trainer. Many independent trainers will provide great leadership and developmental programs. These are usually individuals who have dedicated their time to bring exciting, in-depth programs to teams such as yours.

3. Mentoring

If you don’t already have a mentoring program, you can start a structured program. Pair up senior team members with junior team members, and provide a development plan. The junior team members can learn from the experience of the senior team members and avoid potential pitfalls specific to your team.

These three ideas are simple, easy, and very powerful if implemented with the support of the team leader. You will benefit by having a stronger more motivated and growing team. So take whatever idea you have now for personal growth of your team, and put it into action. Start today!

Jump Start Your Level of Influence

When you start out in a new position with a new organization, your level of influence will probably be low. This will limit your effectiveness as a leader until you begin to build influence.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, John defines several factors that can affect your influence. So let’s take a look at these and see how we can make a better start in a new role.

Character is who you are. In a new role, people around you will not know your character. You must make sure you demonstrate your values in your decisions and your actions. Consistency will be key to making sure people understand your character.

Relationships are who you know. In a new role, you may not know many people around you. You will need to focus on connecting with those people and building a relationship. This will not happen by accident. You must be intentional in goal to build true relationships.

Knowledge is what you know. This is usually why you are in a new role. Knowledge is one of the key factors evaluated when organizations hire. However, never assume your knowledge is the only knowledge. You will need to contribute, and go beyond the normal effort in explanation, training, and demonstrating your knowledge.

Intuition is what you feel. In a new environment, it will be important to be sensitive to what is going on around you. Using reflection as a tool to make sure you understand your new environment.

Experience is where you have been. Leverage your past experience. Are there people in your past that can help in your new situation?

Past Success is what you’ve done. Your past success may have helped you get in the door, but it is not going to keep you in your new role. What you do today is what matters, not what you did yesterday.

Ability is what you can do. In a new role, use all your abilities. Do not take short cuts, and make sure your effort is 100%. Anything less can be interpreted as a lack of ability, a lack of passion, a lack of involvement or all of the above.

Increasing your level of influence will take time. It will not happen quickly, because it takes time for people to believe in you. You can put it on a positive trajectory and accelerate it with the correct intentional actions.

Once you are on the right track, momentum will be on your side. Keep doing the right things, and adding value to all those around you, and your influence will increase.