Spending two days in New York City with Jim Collins (author of Good to Great), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Oscar Farinetti (founder of Eataly), Stephen Ritz and many other business and civic leaders was absolutely amazing. The event took place at the Lincoln Center and the theme was all about Story Makers – people who face shocks – both personal and organizational – and who use those shocks to achieve the extraordinary.
I believe one of the best ways to learn huge life lessons is to encounter other human beings and listen intently to their stories. Lessons are learned from great successes, great failures and great challenges that were overcome.
I have a learning approach I call the iMethod™ I use to maximize learning. It consists of four steps:
- Identify gems of wisdom from those who consistently achieve (or have achieved) an extraordinary result.
- Imitate the wisdom by applying it to circumstances in life where it can achieve desired enhanced results.
- Integrate the wisdom into your own unique circumstances and modify as needed to make it your own.
- Innovate off the wisdom. This means building upon it for greater consistency and/or results.
Jim Collins revealed a gem of wisdom I found inspiring. He said: “I believe we don’t just learn by studying success. We also learn by studying failure and then contrasting the two.” This is just the spurt of wisdom I needed for a new book I am in the process of writing. I will imitate, integrate and innovate off of this technique to enhance the quality of the book.
Sir Richard Branson had many gems of wisdom from his experience in building multiple billion dollar businesses. For instance, he told the story of how he once dressed up disguised as an elderly taxi driver and picked up candidates for service positions from the airport. He walked with a cane and those who treated him with respect and compassion got the job, those who ignored him were driven by him right to the departure lane and let out! Now I don’t see myself imitating the disguise part, but who knows how I can integrate and innovate off the idea to make it my own way of seeing the character of job candidates in real client servicing situations.
Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly, used a peach to describe the business plan of his amazing empire. The seed, flesh and skin of the peach were portrayed using brilliant gems of business wisdom that enabled him to create a unique food experience that celebrates Italy and delights customers. I have pages of notes in which to apply the iMethod™ to enhance the client experience at Janiczek® Wealth Management.
Finally, Stephen Ritz is a school teacher that has done amazing things in Brooklyn by bringing gardening into the schools and community. He explained in great detail how he is solving multiple problems at once by teaching kids how to plant, nurture, cultivate, and harvest fresh vegetables and then eat, sell and even recycle remaining waste – skills that transform the kids and the community. Where old abandoned buildings and lots once blemished the land now stand beautiful gardens that feed the community in many ways. Educators successfully using the iMethod™ here could help transform impoverished communities and school districts around the world.
Give the iMethod™ a try. Frankly, several features of our Strength Based Wealth Management™ and Evidence Based Investing approach evolved out of using the iMethod ™. Contact us if you would like to learn more about this process.