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Learn with the intent to teach

fouri_133_Learn_TeachG’day from Melbourne which is the location for the first leg of my 14 event tour down under.

As well as speaking at ARPM, the largest Lettings & Property Management event in Australasia, I’m also delivering workshops for a variety of businesses and will be meeting many first class leaders and delivering four-i to them, (Information, Insight, Ideas and Inspiration). And, (probably unknowingly), they will be delivering four-i to me – and that’s the real bonus of this tour.

It’s a cliche but a truism that you can learn something every day. I’ve made this a personal mission – at the end of every single day I ask myself “what did you learn today?” and cannot recall an instance when there wasn’t something. Of course this doesn’t happen by accident – I set myself up to learn in several ways.

1. I read 5-7 books at a time. I find that having a variety of different books enables me to select something to match my mood and circumstance. For this trip my subjects include biography, philosophy, fiction as well as business and personal development. And I expect to buy at least 10 books whilst I’m away.

2. Surround yourself with people you can learn from. “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” In the last week I’ve had meetings with Peter Rollings, former CEO of Marsh & Parsons, David Pollock, former CEO of Greene & Co and Dale Norton, former owner of Romans. Add to this group my regular phone calls with Josh Phegan, interactions with fellow ‘Fourth Way’ “Enneagramers” plus meetings and conversations with typically 20 business owners a week and I’m exposing myself to a huge amount of four-i.

3. Get out there. In addition to my speaking engagements I’ve arranged to visit a dozen different businesses and have a chat over coffee with the owners. I find many people will give you 30-60 minutes if you ask nicely and genuinely seek mutual benefit – I see it as my obligation to deliver something for each of them as I take their four-i with me.

4. Write it down. I always have a notebook with me to write down the lessons I learn. Often I have no idea when or how I’ll use the information, insight, idea or inspiration but writing it down causes me to consider it further and then an opportunity will pop up.

5. Perhaps most importantly, learn with the intent to teach. We are passionate about learning AND sharing – we don’t horde our knowledge but dispense it at every opportunity. I despair at those consultants and speakers who only have one set of material which they repeat over and over – our approach is to start from scratch, yes, reuse material where and when appropriate, but always have at least 80% new.

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