This week’s book review is Louder Than Words by Todd Henry
Todd Henry steps the reader through the process of, and importance of, discovering what makes each of us unique. He calls this uniqueness the “authentic voice.” Each of us needs to devote ourselves to impacting the world with the uniqueness that only we possess.
My takeaway from this book is that we need to find a “Sherpa” mentor. A Sherpa mentor is one that doesn’t just provide passive advice but is fully vested in the path to your success. If you succeed, they succeed and, if you fail, they fail . . . just like a Sherpa and a climber.
Also, Henry provided an effective template for getting feedback on your performance and to help you define your uniqueness. I have summarized this process below:
Last week I wrote about the importance of setting up your Advisors Network and I listed a number of my Advisors Council members that have really helped me over my career. This weeks post will list some of the books or references from these icons that I have leveraged over the years. In many cases I have multiple books from each of these authors but I will limit the list to the one source from that individual that made the biggest difference in my professional development.
We have all heard a lot about networking over the years and how it is important for each of us to get out into the marketplace and build our network. Although I agree that building this personal network is important, it is what you do with the network you create that will determine your future success.
The focus of this post is not on leveraging your network for business or sales but rather working with your network to set up what I call an Advisors Network. No one knows everything that is needed to be successful in life and business in every circumstance. We all need help in many areas over the course of our lifetime. This is where the Advisors Network comes in. It allows you to leverage the expertise of many people when you need this specific expertise. Each of these people brings something to the table that you may not have as a strength or as a skill.
In today’s environment of continuous connectivity, we are literally bombarded with interruptions from the time we wake up until we go to bed. There are some of us who are even interrupted in our sleep as we cannot seem to disconnect from the online world. We get email alerts, news alerts, banking alerts, weather alerts, traffic alerts, investment alerts, text messages, instant messages, Facebook messages, RSS feed updates, LinkedIn updates, GroupOn alerts, meeting notices, phone calls, cellphone calls and on and on. It is actually quite amazing that we are able to function at all with this many distractions!
Linda Stone has coined a term for this state of perpetual interruption. She calls it “Continuous Partial Attention”. Essentially, all the interruptions throughout our days are resulting in very few moments where we are able to concentrate fully and deeply on the tasks at hand. This results in us living in a state of Continuous Partial Attention. We are rarely in an environment without something interrupting us every few minutes…even on an airplane (which is where I wrote this post) we have been interrupted approximately 5 times in the last 20 minutes with rather meaningless announcements by our well meaning flight attendants.
Are you a beginner or an expert? Before you answer this, consider this statement from Shunryu Suzuki: “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities and in the expert’s mind there are few.” Why is this? Why are the experts so narrow minded and what opportunities might they be missing because of this?
Think back to when you were just a child and see if you can remember all the questions that you asked. Kids can drive adults crazy sometimes because of their continuous stream of questions! Kids do this to gain knowledge and to fully understand situations or concepts. They are beginners in everything.
As they grow older and gain knowledge, the number of questions they ask drop because they take their knowledge and apply it to identical and even to new situations. They find out that they can understand the new situations by extrapolating their existing knowledge into the new areas. They become self proclaimed experts and they slowly stop asking questions.