Thinking is probably one of the simplest things to improve that can improve you’re overall impact. At Microsoft, I've seen first hand the impact of skillful thinking. I like the fact that with a few techniques, people can change their game when it comes to analyzing, assessing, and responding to problems. Here’s what I’ve noticed among the smartest people I know: they control their emotions, they know what to look for, they know the right questions to ask, they know how to test assumptions, and they know how to find a way forward.
Last week, I picked up the book The Likeability Factor , by Tim Sanders. It’s a book about how the single biggest improvement you can make in your life is likability. From winning elections to having the best job ... it’s all about likability, based on research. The more likeable you are, the happier your life will be.
Being different is a good thing. We all have unique skills we bring to the table. The key is finding your unique 20 percent spike. Your 20 percent spike is your super power. It's that skill that people can count on you for. Maybe for you it's writing. Maybe it's figuring out the business of things. Maybe it's designing things. When you know what your unique 20 percent spike is, you know your most powerful tool for creating impact or earning a living.
Who doesn't want more time? We all want more time to do the things we want to do. The reality is, we have to make the most of the time we've got. The real problem is we spend time on the wrong things, we do things the least efficient way, or we simply let time expand to fill its container (see Parkinson's Law.) The real key to improving time management is first changing how you think about your time and taking steps to own how you spend it.
The 20 percent spike is a distinctive strength. It's unusually powerful. Using your 20 percent spike generates exponential results. It's a way to amplify your impact and maximize results. My 20 percent spike is information artistry. I use this skill to create, organize, and share complex information in a simple way. At work, it helps me write more effective books. At home, it helps me learn faster and turn insights into action. From a service standpoint, it helps me unleash the best in others.