Once upon a time… in a land not far away, a highly energetic and slightly stressed Director in a large corporation was asked to read a self development book by his CEO.
The slightly stressed Director became a little more stressed.
“How am I going to read all that!”
“What the hell is it about anyway?”
“I haven’t got time for this nonsense!”
…he muttered to himself.
Well he obviously wasn’t going to say those things to his boss. He was a smart man… or so he thought.
Being the kind of quick thinking, critical decision making executive he was it didn’t take long before he thought of an idea to overcome this literacy challenge and immediately paced to the other end of his department where a young graduate was busy doing what young graduates do (feel free to visualise at this point).
“I need you to read this!” he said abruptly to the graduate.
The Grad obviously looked a little bemused and now slightly stressed too as the highly powerful senior figure peered down menacingly.
“I need you to read this and tell me what it’s all about!”he continued, as he thrust the hardback into the chest of the confused, now more stressed and slightly bruised graduate.
” Read it… tell me what you learnt and then book 15 minutes in my diary to tell me what it was all about!”
Of course, the highly energetic and slightly stressed Director had a solution. He had worked he executive decision making magic once again…
However, there was a culturally embedded saying in this large corporation… and it was basically this.
You were seen by others in the organisation (and those within earshot of that Director) as simply a “Wizard or a W*nker”. (Only one asterisk in there so hopefully you got the word right because it’s not Wizard or Winker… or even Wizard or Wonker for that matter).
Some of you reading this are probably pigeon holing that Director and thinking the same word as me when I witnessed that little episode.
The story is true.
And the book?
It was on the topic of Self Leadership.
Now, we should leave the tale there and I wish I could say that it was a happy ending but it wasn’t (say no more!)
For all the thinking and actions that were wrong in this little tale there are some elements that relate to all of us;
What do I need to learn?
What would I like to learn?
How do I prefer to learn?
AND… How do I find the time to learn?
When asking people on my training workshops and programs about the challenges of answering the 4 questions above. The main point always raised is TIME… or lack of it… especially to read books.
Most people see the value in undertaking this activity but finding the time to do it is the biggest challenge… and I wouldn’t condone the behaviour and actions of the slightly stressed Director.
So, in this blog I want to provide a possible solution that is helping me and may help you too.
What would it be like if someone else did the reading for you. Then analysed the key learning points and summarised the whole book in a 15 minute concise read OR 15 minute audio that you could take onboard and absorb in the same time as it takes to drink a cup of coffee?
Or, in my case… do something productive and worthwhile whilst working out on my elliptical trainer (HA! The Elliptical Trainer – get it?).
In fact, if I do a snails pace on the elliptical trainer over an hour I can read (well listen to) 4 non-fiction, high value self improvement books.
The solution is in the form of Blinkist. Over 1500 books ready when you are.
Blinkist provide a vast library of readable and audible books that can be ticked off the To Do pad within minutes. They cover the big topics from big names as well as thought provoking lesser known authors. You can create your own personal library and simply open books when the urge takes you or when you get a few minutes to spare… like…
In the car (I like this one as the audible books work offline as well)
On the train (as above)
Before the next meeting starts (people are always late)
Whilst munching on a sandwich
Waiting for a client / customer to arrive
A 15 minute stroll with fresh air around the car park
With your morning cuppa
Whilst cooking dinner
With your evening tipple
Before or after sex (please choose book topic carefully)
And many more… including the elliptical trainer.
Blinkist didn’t exist when the slightly stressed Director marched down the office corridor looking for a solution. Now all you have to do is click here.
Be a Wizard not a W*nker… it’s much easier.
And finally… if you do start to use Blinkist to transform your self development journey then why not contribute to the NEW Blinkist Readers Club where you can share your thoughts and learning points / top tips with other Blinkist readers. Just join the LinkedIn Group and have fun!
The elliptical trainer is where I do most of my audio learning. For more details read my “Elliptical Trainer Blog” where over the next few months I will be recording and summarising my learning.
“Elliptical”… it’s not just about fitness trainers…