Leadership / Maxwell Ideas

Getting into the Success ACT

Many wish that the “key to success” was something I could press on my keyboard, and voila! What they don’t realize is that some very simple things are the difference between success and struggle.

I have met very successful people who have risen to the top of their field in a matter of, say, 10 years. I know others who have been working at their profession for over 20 years, and work for the 10-year veteran. Why? The first has 10 solid years of experience. The latter has one year of experience repeated 20 times.

Everyone understands the importance of setting goals (you can read this post if you want to learn more about that.) The real difference maker is reviewing the work you are doing.

I am an engineer and project manager by training. We always talk about “lessons learned,” but how do you get them and really incorporate them? It takes more than waiting to the end of a project and writing down some things nobody will read again after the report is filed. Instead, each week as you look over what was done, consider ACT-ing on what you learn.

John Maxwell teaches the way to really master lessons learned is to determine to do something about them. ACT stands for Apply, Change, and Teach.

  • Apply: Something you have never done before but feel you should incorporate into your activities
  • Change: You realize that something you are doing isn’t working and that something you learned should be done instead
  • Teach: Something you discover that would be helpful for others to know, too

The system works like this:

  • As you review your notes and write down what you have learned, you will write down an A, C, or T next to each item in your notes that strikes you as something you need to either apply, change, or teach.
  • At the end of the month, review all of your ACTs, grouping them together and prioritizing which are most important and beneficial to you and others.
  • Now take the top 3 in each category and schedule them into your program over the next three months – one each month.

Soon, you will be working on three things each month in each ACT, creating powerful changes in your life and really learning those “lessons learned.”

If you would like to get more information about the how and why of ACT, read here.

What about all those other things you could be ACT-ing on? Well, soon you will discover that by handling the most important ones, the others are also being incorporated into your life, too. maximizing their value.

So don’t be the guy repeating one year of experience over and over. ACT and see a change in your life!


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