I laid out the 5 Steps for getting Lift in this earlier post. I then covered Where to Start and How To Get Lift as well as How To Store/Retrieve It. In this 4th step, I’ll briefly tell you how I consume or leverage my various sources of Lift.
Just having impressive resources does us no good if we don’t act on them with purposeful intent. Early in my career when I began to make professional connections, I was ecstatic to meet and work with many well known leaders in my field. I also felt empowered by the growing cache of learning resources and experiences I had begun to accumulate. But because I didn’t have a system for really consuming and integrating those resources, I wasn’t nearly as effective as I wanted to be or could be. My initial feelings of elation, accomplishment and satisfaction were soon followed by frustration, disappointment and feeling overwhelmed. That had to change.
Following a lot of trial-and-error over the years, I have found the following sources of Lift coupled with a systematic approach (listed below) to leverage them work best for me:
1. Virtual (Blogs, podcasts, books and literature):
- I have a few blogs and podcasts I follow and consume weekly. My favorite one comes to me via an e-mail on Saturday that I can then click and access content.
- Books- I have at least 1 professional and 1 non-professional in progress at all times. I read them as part of an end of the day routine 30 minutes before bed and for longer stretches at other times (Saturday and Sunday primarily).
- Articles- Some of these are retrieved and read some in order to meet a specific need. Others are from journals or mailings to which I’m subscribed. I scan the table of contents when these arrive and Delete most (Trash), Defer a few (read later), or File as reference material ones I think may be useful at some point. More recently, I’ve begun reading selected web content I find when scanning my Feedly account at whenever I have a few free moments or am on the treadmill. I can then tweet out things I want to share as well as save information to my Evernote account for future reference.
2. Group (conferences, membership sites):
- I typically attend two professional conferences every year, but am currently thinking about what I need to change here. I am subscribed to both Soundview Book Summaries and Platform University and view or listen to selected content from these as well as other free podcasts (Michael Hyatt’s, Andy Stanley’s and Ravi Zacharias in particular) when walking or in the car.
3. Peer (group coaching, Mastermind groups)
- I meet 2-3 times a month as a member of the 48 Days Mastermind Group and a couple of times a month with my smaller accountability group. These last 40 – 60 minutes and are on my calendar. I also consider my weekly TexPTS and EIM partner meetings as part of my Lift system because frankly, my business partners are among my best friends and Top Influencers in my life…which brings me to the final category of my Lift sources
4. Personal (Top 5 Influencers, 1:1 Coaching, professional & personal friendships, volunteer activities or paid engagements and mentoring)
- Aside from God, my wife Diane is the Top Influencer in my life. In addition to getting away for a week at least once year, she and I go out for dinner once a week almost without fail, which can be a challenge at times. In addition to individual meetings with my partners (vs group), I also meet with 4 local area leaders who have different professional backgrounds; two I meet with monthly and two quarterly. Each meeting typically lasts about 90 minutes, sometimes a bit longer. Finally, I’ve been working with my own Executive/professional Coach twice a month for almost a year now, each session being 50 – 60 minutes.
I re-evaluate my Lift resources and system yearly as well as periodically and change something if it doesn’t seem to be working. What I can tell you is that my personal growth and effectiveness became exponential when I both: a) became intentional about the Lift resources I focused on and b) leveraged a systems approach for integrating those resources into my daily and weekly routine.
How are you using your resources and leveraging them to get you where you want and need to go? While your Lift resources may be impressive, they do you no good if you aren’t integrating them in your day to day. A haphazard approach will yield haphazard results. What are you doing that’s working for you? What do you doing now that you need to do more of? What are you doing now that you need to do less of? Finally, what are you not doing that if you started, would make the biggest difference?
Drop me a comment, I’d love to hear and learn about what’s working and what needs to be better.