My niece was staying with us for a few days and she had just finished her one-hour of devotional reading for the day. Just by chance I met her in the hallway and I asked her, “What did you learn today and how will you use it tomorrow?” You see, I know how important her commitment to devotional reading is, but I also know that there is a difference between reading for the sake of reading and reading for the sake of learning and growing. I was pretty sure that I had surprised her by my comment but she got a chance to return the surprise. About one week later I went to our mailbox and there was a letter from her. I was most intrigued because in her 19 years, I think maybe she had written two or three times. I stared at the envelope and wondered what it was that she had written. Here is the essence of what the letter said…
Dear Uncle Buck,
I didn’t know what to say to you that day but you got me to think about what I was really doing. I realized, you were right, if I was really going to make a difference, I needed to stop going through the motions and start asking everyday what does this all really mean to me? I find now that my daily devotional is having more meaning and I am starting to see signs of how it is really changing who I am…
I tell you this story because I wonder how often we go through the motions in our business. How often do we get customer feedback that goes nowhere? How often do we observe new ideas or find new approaches that never get implemented? My niece learned a wonderful lesson that day. She learned the importance of asking, “What did I learn today and how will I use it tomorrow?”
Can you imagine how quickly you would grow, both as a business and a person; if you stopped to ask this question every day? What do you think would happen if you took just 5 minutes after meeting with a customer and you wrote down everything new that you learned about them and how you will apply that knowledge to future activity? What do you think would happen if at your weekly team meetings everyone was asked to share one thing that they had learned in the last week and provided examples of how they were going to use their new knowledge?
In this world of constant change, knowledge is a critical success factor for getting ahead. This month I would like you to think about all the new knowledge you capture everyday and how you will start applying it in your life so that it makes a difference. I read somewhere that if you learned one new thing about your area of expertise every day, you would be a “genius” within two years. Do you think customers are attracted to industry geniuses? You bet they are! Do you think your margins will improve if you are the industry genius? You bet they will! Do you think your relationships will flourish and grow if you commit yourself to learning a little bit more about the people who mean the most to you? You know they will!
Five minutes a day is all it takes to lead you to greatness!
- Ask what did you learn today?
- Ask how can you apply this knowledge to be better in what you do?
- Ask who else would want to know what you just learned?