See Your Future?

I know you’re busy. But your future needs your attention. Answer this question: What is keeping me from my biggest professional achievement?

Answer: ____________________

Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

If you’re like most people I interview, the answer is either 1) lack of opportunity, 2) someone or something else is holding you back, or 3) you’re tired.

I get it. I hear it all the time. And I think you’re wrong.

In fact, I’m 100 percent sure you’re selling yourself short. Why? Because when I dig into what’s holding people back, nine out of 10 times it comes down to a lack of burning desire and talent development.

In the 500 words I have for this column, I can’t reignite your desire. That’s for Tony Robbins to deliver. However, I can share the breakthrough trend that is turning talent development on its head. This new approach takes learning away from Human Resources and traditional classrooms and puts it directly into the palm of your hands. The trend: Create your own talent-development program. This is what I call Talent Development 2.0.

Hold on before you roll your eyes and reach for a VHS tape. This is a big deal. This is the first time ever you can instantly access the BEST thinkers in the world, and often for free. This ability to learn on demand has never happened before and it will change your future—if you embrace it now (and have a good cell signal).


Because no longer are you taking the risk that other people will choose to develop your talent. No longer must you wait for a mentor to come into your life or a seminar company to visit your town. Instead, you can take three steps right now that instantly start to supercharge your talent.

Step 1: Find the No. 1 “thinker” in your industry and sign up or download every free resource they offer online. Then do the same with the leading thinker in your specific functional area, such as sales, marketing or management. This one step gives you cutting-edge insights direct to your smartphone—no chalkboard necessary.

Step 2: Watch a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video every day. Every day! I like to watch at 3 p.m. when my energy ebbs. This recharges me to finish the day strong. I also share my favorite new videos with friends, which leads to conversations that help me to process what I learned.

Step 3: Create your monthly learning theme. Each month, look for additional online resources that go deeper into that specific topic. Personally, I like to find people who disagree on the topic and then think about where my own views fit. Here are three themes to get you going: motivation, communication and creativity.

So to review: Follow a top thinker, get your daily dose of TED videos and learn from new online resources. Do this, and before you know it, you’ll be the dean of your own talent-development program! Now that’s a bright future you control and create for yourself. Cue the video!


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