Tag Archives: books

Learn for success

GM and Ford are laying off workers.  The layoffs include production line, engineering and management workers. IBM has layoffs every year, even when they are expanding.  State and federal governments have layoffs. The military has layoffs.

You are only safe if you train your brain. 

One of my candidates got tired of having to upgrade his computer skills every 3 or 4 years so he studied massage therapy.  Several candidates are getting their MBA’s.  I push everyone to get certifications in their field.  I once had a client who was a soldier in Iraq, and even he was able to continue his training.

Many people think their brain can stop when they graduate from high school or college.  These people have totally missed the meaning of the “Commencement Ceremony.”  Commencement means the beginning, not the end.  It is the time to really start learning.  It is the opening of broad new vistas of opportunities.

Oprah Winfrey said that the most important decision she ever made was to read two books each week.  She could stop working today and retire with the 100’s of millions of dollars she has earned.  Instead, she keeps on learning.  Because she keeps on learning, she keeps on being interesting to watch on TV.

I knew a rodeo cowboy, a pro bull rider, who always impressed me.  She kept learning new skills, and even got into law school. 

Are you still feeding your brain or did it stop working as soon as you left school?

Something to do today

Decide on a plan to learn something fun and something useful.  They may be the same thing.  Get started.

How to read a useful book

In school I always felt guilty if I skipped one sentence in a reading assignment. Books must be read in their entirety.  I got the message.  Too bad it was the wrong lesson.

In a college class I only needed to get two answers right on an extra credit test about a book to convert my grade to a solid “A”.  There were 10 questions.  I picked up the book and looked at the cover.  I realized I had heard a review of the book and its contrarian theme the week before.  I decided to take the test without ever opening the book.  I got 6 questions right. It was an easy “A”.

Did I cheat?  No!  I knew the author’s bias.  I knew what he would say about historical events.  I didn’t even need the “Cliff Notes” to get what I needed out of the book.  I only needed two correct test answers for an “A”.

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read. (G.K. Chesterton)

You are out of school. Now you need to learn for a living.  You need to learn things that will help you financially.  You need to be effective and efficient. Your next pay raise depends on it.

Before you read a book, read the cover and intro.  Read the table of contents.  If you are not sure you will get much out of the book, read the first and last paragraph of each chapter.  Look at any charts or illustrations.  Go back and only read the chapters that you will learn the most from.  Don’t be afraid to use your time wisely.

Time is a precious commodity.  Every hour you spend learning about your career will pay off in the long run.  Spending those hours carefully will give you a much greater reward than slogging through books that aren’t really going to help you.

Something To Do Today

Make a list of books that will help your career.  Get the first one today.  Preview it.  Read the book, or the parts of it that you can learn from.


Tomorrow:     Politics (is networking)

Later:              Short term rewards

What motivates me

Waiting for the “help wanted” sign