In order to earn more, you must learn more. And, in order to be the best, you must learn from the best. While these two phrases sound cliché, they ring true to every person, in any position and industry. It’s vital to always be learning (as John C. Maxwell has preached in his past two keynote lessons at L2L), but it is equally as important to select the most insightful leaders, teachers and mentors to guide you to greater success.

Becoming the BEST is a choice. It requires intention, focus and continued learning. Once you’ve set yourself on a mission towards personal and professional growth, you will find that there is a lot of chatter on the Internet and a large selection in the “leadership and management” section of the bookstore. How do you know who is the BEST expert to give you advice, let alone what topic or skills you need to learn to most?

When choosing the best thought-leaders to learn from, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What skills do I need to improve upon to stay competitive in my industry?
  2. What behaviors would I like to change in myself or my company?
  3. What is the next step in my career?
  4. Who is the best in the world at what I do? What do they do different?

The answers to these four questions are a little different for everyone and should be asked at least once a year as you continue to grow as a leader. They will help you draw an outline towards the topics or areas of expertise you’d like to learn, and towards the right person who is the best in the business.

Once you have an idea of the topic or skillset you’d like to explore, it’s important to follow the below criteria when considering who is the BEST individual to learn from:

  1. Consider their experience and their successes. You’ll want to find someone who has been around the block a time or two, who can share their observations from being the best at their game. They will also have lessons to share from the many failures they had endured on their path to success. Also, consider learning from individuals with diverse backgrounds who may be able to give you valuable insight on your topic from a different perspective.
  2. Evaluate their knowledge in the area you want to grow in. Regardless if you are looking to learn best practices on a broad subject matter, or to hone in on a specific skill, there is likely someone out there who knows more than you do and has resources available from their findings. Find someone who has specialized knowledge in the topic you’d like to learn more about.
  3. Is it easy to access their content? Consider learning from someone who is easily accessible to you, and teaches in the style you prefer to consume content. Whether you prefer one-on-one consultations, listening to podcasts, learning at conferences, or reading books, there are many different ways to learn. Find what works best for you, and find an influencer that teaches in your style. (Keep reading for a few great learning opportunities coming up in the Des Moines-area).
  4. Is it easy to understand and implement their teachings? The key reason for learning is to ultimately shape your life and your business around their important findings. Learn from someone who speaks on your level of understanding, and offers small, actionable steps that you can easily execute to see the results you desire.
  5. Do they believe the same values as you do? Be selective when choosing a teacher, based on the same values you hold yourself accountable for. What are the principles behind their teachings? Do they practice what they preach? Find someone who resonates with you on a deeper level. And, if you find a thought-leader you don’t agree with, try to meet them in person to have a discussion on their viewpoint based on both your experience and theirs – it could change the way you view something.

I am excited to share with you that a few of my favorite teachers are coming to Des Moines to share their knowledge with local business leaders. I have learned personally through one-on-one meetings, as well as from their books and conferences. Combining their knowledge, my experience, and their coaching, has helped me become who I am today:

  1. Author of many great sales-focused books, including Little Red Book of SellingJeffrey Gitomer was in Des Moines last week giving seminars to both sales managers and sales professionals. Thank you to everyone who attended! Did you miss him? If so, CONTACT ME for a complementary Sale Assessment to go over many of his key teachings.
  2. Brad Sugars, the founder of ActionCOACH Business Coaching, will be in Des Moines on September 26th to speak at the Central Iowa Business Conference. He started the ActionCOACH brand when he was in his early twenties. Today, the company is internationally recognized as the leading global business coaching firm and one of the most awarded franchises in the world! Learn more at HTTP://CENTRALIOWABUSINESSCONFERENCE.COM/.
  3. Once again, I will be hosting the Central Iowa simulcast of Live2Lead leadership conference, featuring John C. Maxwell, on October 12th. John is the author of many bestselling books including “21 Laws of Leadership.” This event features world-class leadership experts from diverse backgrounds all sharing new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways. This year’s speakers include Carly Fiorina and Daniel Pink!

Like a tree is either growing or dying – so are we! Seeking out opportunities to learn from the best is what fuels our growth and keeps us from becoming outdated and obsolete. If you have any questions about the upcoming events or would like to discuss with me about how to become the BEST, CONTACT ME TODAY!

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