Three New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Time to come up with a few New Year’s resolutions? Here are three simple ideas.
1) Read well and read a lot
I like to ask people, usually within the first 5 minutes of meeting them, “what are you reading?” It’s not only an ice breaker but also insightful.
I was interviewing two candidates for senior product marketing positions at a company I worked not too long ago. Candidate A taught MBA students part time. I was impressed and skipped the question about books. Candidate B gave me a shocker – “I don’t read much. I think it is a waste of time to read business books. They repeat the same thing over and over”.
Agreed life gets busy and you don’t have time for many things. But how can you have such an attitude to reading? Managers who do not think it is necessary to read – it shows in your work. After all, you are what you read.
Just pick up any book from that airport book store you pass by every week. If you can get a Kindle or Nook or iPad or iPhone or whatever gadget that lets you read a book, go for it. You don’t even have to go to the airport! Shut down your computer and make a practice of reading at least one hour every day. It is the most rewarding experience you will have since kinder garden.
Spread the reading virus to your colleagues too. Start a book club at work and book a weekly lunch hour to discuss a chapter or two. A few years ago, I worked for a manager who planned a book club meeting for the entire team every Tuesday at lunch hour. I am thankful for that experience. Your colleagues too will thank you if you start one! Tip: Use that expense account you have to buy yourself a few good books every month!
Looking for recommendations? Here are 6 enjoyable contemporary business books from my bookshelf:
2) Write well
Struggling for words? Fear not. Help is here. Writing establishes your identity. It bring clarity and disciplines time for self reflection. Brand consultants are passé. Imagine if you could only put down your thoughts about product strategy in writing – in full sentences. You wouldn’t need that boring slide deck with bullets and ugly pictures. You’d have communicated in a powerful medium and made a huge impact on yourself and your organization.
Here are a few classics about writing. Read one today!
3) Communicate visually
Put your whiteboards and flip charts to more use. Stop those PowerPoint decks and think of better ways i.e. visual ways to communicate your ideas. Make communication of your ideas a sharing, collaborative experience rather than a monologue or diktat. Check out these books if you need help on how to get better at communicating visually:
That’s it folks. Just three simple ideas – Read well, write well and present well!
Start filling your mind with thought provoking ideas from others, start writing your own ideas and present them to your colleagues – inspire them to greatness. Happy New Year!