I love to listen to Audio Books. Over the past year I have downloaded over 35 business titles, and have enjoyed then while driving, running and working out. The amount of shared knowledge on these volumes has been amazing. Yet there is something missing from the whole equation. Even though the titles contained information on changing my life in many ways… my life remains very much the same as it has always been.
There have been some standout books and probably a half dozen that I’ve taken action on. The majority of the information, while interesting, has been processed by my brain and mostly forgotten. This is a sobering fact with learning, that if we don’t do something (take action) with what we learned, the knowledge is slowly lost.
This is the premise of Ken Blanchard’s new audio book, Know Can Do. Mr. Blanchard teamed up with Paul J. Meyer and Dick Ruhe to answer the question “Why don’t I do what I know I should do?” The book is written in Blanchard’s famous “fable” format and gets quickly to the heart of the problem.
In our modern world with a myriad of communication sources we are over-saturated with information on a daily basis. The TV blares out the latest news, sports and weather information. We then pick up the remote and flip over to HGTV and find out the latest home decorating techniques. A few more clicks has us on the food network with someone creating a scrumptious gourmet meal. Yet the only action most of take while sitting on the same old couch watching these shows is to eat some junk food out of a bag.
Ken talks about information overload and the fact that most people that attend his seminars and read his books never do anything with what they have learned. He has come up with some simple techniques to overcome this learning-forgetting cycle that so many of us experience.
His number one technique is to focus on just a few things, instead of being a seminar junkie and attending seminar after seminar and reading book after book. He suggests reading a book at least four times through and practicing spaced repetition. His tip to avoid information overload is learning less more, not more less. This is a book that should be required reading for learners of all types.
On a personal level, I have found that audio books give me a great preview of information and fill a usual unproductive time like driving with learning. But if I really want to take action on a subject I need to listen more than once and many times it’s necessary to pick up the written volume for reference.
Three books quickly come to mind that I’ve listened through multiple times and have picked up the corresponding printed book for reference. Here are three that have caused me to take action in the last few months…
Made To Stick by Chip & Dan Heath. This is a communicators bible. There is so much good information in this book with a simple checklist to see if your material will “Stick” in your audience’s mind. A must read for speakers, presenters, and marketers from all subject areas.
The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. If you are looking for a quick way to simplify your life and have more time to do the things you want, look no further. Tim Ferriss is the master of efficiency. He will get to the bottom of a problem and offer the quickest and most efficient solution. I was amazed at his answers to seemingly overwhelming daily problems such as e-mail overload, phone interruptions, and the crush of junk mail. Don’t end up in the Red BMW… read this book!
How To Connect In Business In 90 Seconds Or Less by Nicholas Boothman. I listened through this book for the second time on a driving trip last month. I found myself replaying different sections and doing some of the simple exercises over and over. Nick is a great speaker and this book is chocked full of great tips for communicating with people. This is one of the most practical and useful books you can buy if you are in sales, marketing, or just want to network with people.
Why not take a deliberate action today… Know… Can… Do…