Are You Converting Your Reading into Learning?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Goal: to discuss the process to transfer reading into a learning strategy

Every evening before I go to bed, I typically read at least one chapter from a book. Recently I read a couple of books on managing large complex projects. These were books that covered best in class performance and characteristics of leadership that were necessary and sufficient for success.

Why read these books?

I believe that I know what I know but I do not know what others know. The gold is often found in someone else’s knowledge. One can not rely on their own knowledge as being complete.

Reading these two books which were considerable in size took me about two weeks. I let them simmer in my mind for a week before starting the next phase of my learning process.

This weekend I took one of the books which is in electronic form and extracted the highlights from each chapter. I extracted them into Excel.

Excel!!!

Yes, Excel. I created a column called discussion, another one called question, another one called answer and lastly choices. A copy of the highlights went into the discussion column and a second copy in the question column.

After formating to see them better, I next reduced the question version to a single question. There were a few cells where a few questions was more appropriate based on the discussion.

Why do all this?

What I learned from the books is that my personality and skill set is a great fit for managing complex projects. I have done this my whole career and do most of the best practices without thought. And that is exactly the point. Something that comes easily to me is what many senior project managers who are assigned to lead a major complex project regularly fail at.

Why do they fail?

Often their skillset and success is based on small to midsize projects. They show that they can manage those and get promoted into a role to run hundred of million dollar and even billion dollar jobs. BUT those two types of skill sets are not the same and they fail miserably. 68% of all major complex projects fail to deliver the desired output at cost and schedule that was originally used to fund them.

That is a little more than two thirds..WOW!!!

Once I am done with my formatting and questions, I can build an app and this can become a tool. A tool that I sell to companies to help guide their leaders to success.

Notice that the process started off as reading. While reading I highlighted key ideas. Next I transferred those ideas into a different tool. Lastly, that tool will be used to create an app. By the end of the process I will not only memorize the highlights but I will be able to teach them to others.

How much should a company wanting to do a billion dollar complex project pay for such a tool?

That is a million dollar question….

My nineteen cents….(this is what I earned from Medium.com for Dec. 2020)

I gotta go…my future self alarm went off

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Robert Trajkovski

Robert Trajkovski

I have led people and projects in Steel/ Power, Refining, Chemicals, Industrial Gasses, Software, Consulting and Academia. I have instructed 73+ courses.