the 8:30 rule

I do a lot of teaching and facilitation in corporations and universities,

and through that get a chance to interact with lots of young business

people. Typically these are high-performers chosen by their companies to

participate in the courses my company offers, or MBA/MOT students at top-

level universities. So this is a highly-motivated talent pool to start with.


Despite their already busy work schedules, they sacrifice precious free time

with family, friends and hobbies in an effort to better themselves and learn

more about the world around them. This is fantastic, and I applaud their



But at the same time, there is more that most of these students could do to

leverage the opportunities they are getting. The "best of the best" that I

see in these groups, the true global professionals - people who make a real

difference in shaping their companies or organizations and the markets that

they touch - are those that always "take the next step" in whatever they

do. They don't just attend the courses they are offered. They make sure to

follow-up, understanding that application is key.


The most successful people I know are the ones who not only gather a lot of

meishi at the cocktail party - but those who send a thoughtful note and

even an extra question to those they have met the next morning. They not

only write down the name of the book the speaker mentioned - but quickly

buy it and start reading it in the train that night. And when they get a

business idea in the shower, they not only write it down on a long to-do

list - they immediately gather a couple of colleagues over lunch and explore

how to expand it into a project.


From these observations, I have developed what I call the "8:30 Rule". The

next time you meet someone interesting, or learn a new concept, or have an

idea - DO SOMETHING with it at 8:30 the next morning. Before everyone else

gets to the office. Before you get bogged down with email. It doesn't have

to be a big step, just a concrete step that you can follow up on later.

Order the book online. Write a quick summary of the idea and email it to a

colleague for input. Create a mind map about how it relates to your work,

and reserve 30 minutes in your next monthly team meeting agenda to

discuss its potential relevance. Believe me, if you don't do it then,

you will probably never get around to it later.


There is always a danger that people feel self-satisfied after attending a

seminar, and then lose all the potential value of it by forgetting to truly

follow-up and apply their learnings in their daily life. I do it myself

all the time. True Global Professionals don't fall into that trap. I

have been trying to apply my own "8:30 Rule" as a way to force myself

to improve in this way. I hope it can help you as well.

jeffjapan at 10:06コメント(0)トラックバック(0)LearningIdeas