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Knowledge to Action

by Randall Craig on March 27, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Book, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

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When was the last time you read a good book? Or rather, when was the last time you read a good book that was good for you? No, not a trash novel, or even one that is mildly entertaining. What is a good book? It is one that moves you one step closer to your objectives.

These books might be in the area of your professional expertise, or perhaps one that leads to a certification. They might be in an area where you have daily challenges, or in an area where you are looking for future career growth. They might be on subjects like natural science, history, or philosophy, in order to get you thinking in new directions. Or they might be on the process of career development. (Books such as Leaving the Mother Ship and Personal Balance Sheet come to mind!)

Reading good books help develop your intellectual strength, which benefits you both at your current job, and your future one. Reading also develops your intellectual flexibility, which will help you adapt to change, if that is what you are looking to do.

Whether it be in a job interview, a talk with your manager, or with friends or family, the insights that you pick up lend new perspective to the discussion. The insights also show that you are a person of depth.

This week’s action item: Go to the bookstore or library, and look for a “good” book that appears interesting. If you’re not sure where to start, look at the business best-sellers list, or ask your manager what they are reading. After you read the book, find an opportunity to share what you’ve learned with your workmates, and then convert your knowledge to action.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Most athletes understand the importance of stretching: avoiding injuries, becoming more flexible, and improving performance. But unless your business is fitness (or you are a performance athlete) how might this be relevant to you?

First, let me suggest that you ARE a performance athlete, but in the arena of business. You require flexibility (not to mention strength and endurance) if you are to succeed in your career. The question of course, is how to develop it.

Many athletes recognize that to excel, they must push themselves beyond what they are currently doing. Again, this is no different for the health of your career. To succeed, you must move beyond your comfort zone, and stretch yourself “up” to the next level. Career growth requires you to grow – and the operative word is “you”. Here are some ideas:

1) How often have you taken on new challenges within your work group? Ask your manager if you can help with something different.

2) Do you avoid a “scary” part of your job (public speaking, sales, etc)? Figure out why it is scary, and craft a plan to become comfortable doing it.

3) How involved are you as a volunteer outside of the office? If you are a marketing person, for example, consider taking a financial role: do something different!

4) When was the last time you took a course outside your area of specialty? Invest in yourself, and broaden your perspective.

5) When was the last time you tried a completely different sport or hobby? Feeling comfortable doing new things after work will help you adjust to – and take advantage of – changes at your workplace.

New experience gives you different perspectives, intellectual flexibility, and a recharged outlook. Athletes stretch for a good reason, and so should you.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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