It’s the gift giving time of year again and many shoppers are out at the malls or outlet centers fighting the crowds and spending lots of money. But what do you buy the person on your list who is interested in personal development? What do you give that aspiring leader or ladder climbing job hunter? What kind of things does a goal setting student or time management guru want? While there are common items such as daily planners, calendars, and desktop organizers available, if you really want to make a lasting impact in someone’s life you might consider one of these gifts…
1. Membership in Toastmasters International. For around $75 you can sign someone up for a 6 month membership at their local Toastmaster’s club. This includes their first time member kit which includes the competent communicator manual and lots of materials to get them started. Toastmasters is a great place to learn public speaking as well as a place to get involved in leadership.
Toastmasters will give your recipient the skills and confidence they need to effectively express themselves in any situation. By learning to formulate and convey their ideas, they can discover a whole new world of possibilities. They will be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations and they will improve their one-on-one dealings with others.
Membership in Toastmasters can be a great gift for job seekers, leadership professionals, salespeople, and anyone looking for leadership or presentation experience. To find a club near you, use the meeting locations tool. The local club will be able to answer your questions about time, location, and membership costs.
2. Personal MBA. While traditional MBA programs cost thousands of dollars and take years to complete, you can give the gift of a Personal MBA for very little money. The Personal MBA program was developed by Josh Kaufman as an alternative way to get a business education without the huge expense of traditional programs. While the PMBA doesn’t provide a paper degree, it does offer a great education utilizing the latest business and leadership books and resources.
Some books offer tools; processes or actions that can be applied immediately to improve life and work. Others offer ideas; help in envisioning what businesses are capable of becoming. All of them offer mental models; useful ways of thinking about the world that can be used with advantage advantage in a wide variety of situations.
The best way to give this gift is to sign up for the free book summaries and newsletter and give Josh’s best selling book as a gift. You can also peruse the list of popular books to add to your gift list and customize the present in a personal way for your recipient.
Some popular books to get you started…
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Brain Rules by John Medina
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
3: Audio Books. While the Personal MBA offers a great way to get a business education through reading books, you may find you don’t have enough time to actually read them. A great alternative is to LISTEN to them while commuting or exercising using Audio books. Audible.com offers a great way to download and listen to them on your iPod, iPad or other MP3 player.
To give this gift you might want to choose from one of Audible’s membership programs. To give you an idea of how to use these books, take a look at some of our book reviews from our sister blog, MBA on the Run
Some of my all time favorite listens are…
Your Brain at Work by David Rock
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Change Anything by Joseph Grenny and others
Overall: Giving one of the items above will help your recipient improve their skills and knowledge which can have positive ramifications far beyond the gift.
Question: What personal development gift would you like to receive?