What Are You Searching For?

If you attend a 3 day training course and you come away with one great idea that will help you and your team, then the 3 days has been worth it.

Highly effective leaders are constantly searching. What are they searching for? You might ask. They are constantly searching for things that will increase their influence, increase their personal growth, and increase their value to others.

1. Becoming More Valuable

A highly effective leader knows that for them and the team to become successful, he/she needs to become more valuable. They have an individual purpose, and they live that purpose every day.

Every task they carry out either in work, or outside of work is done on purpose. Everything they say is done on purpose. They live with purpose by constantly searching for things that will make them more valuable.

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I have led engineering teams all across the United Kingdom in various different departments. In Liverpool I led a project team. In Edinburgh and Glasgow I led production teams. In London I have led a performance team, a technical team, and also another project team.

I also mentor graduates, and have given talks to in Liverpool, Glasgow, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and London. Some of the talks I gave were cross industry events.

The industries present included the rail industry, the automotive industry, the aerospace industry, and the oil and gas industry. The reason for that is to see what each industry could learn from each other to improve.

2. Constantly Searching

With leading all the different teams in different parts of the United Kingdom, working with young engineers, and giving talks to different engineering industries, there is one thread that goes through all of them. I share one message to ALL the different teams of people, and that message is, “Constantly Search.”

What I mean when I deliver that message is search for things that help you increase your influence, increase your personal growth, and make you a more valuable person.

What helps me to constantly search is; read personal growth or leadership books, watch personal growth or leadership videos on You Tube, or attend a conference/event. That would be a good start for you to start your search on becoming a more valuable person.

However, don’t try to take in everything you read, listen to, or watch. Only write down or remember information that will help you to become more valuable. Some of the information you consume will not help you, so get rid of it. Valuable information is what you are searching for, nothing else.

I mentioned that I have spoken to engineers from the oil and gas industry. In order for oil to be found, it needs to be searched for. Most oil is buried underground, and oil companies’ use drills to break through the rock to get it. Oil rigs search for oil out from under the sea bed.

A lot of the time they find oil, but the rest of the time they don’t. However, it doesn’t stop them from searching for it. They keep going until they find what they want; which is the oil. Oil is what will make the organisation they are working with more valuable, and will help the people they sell it to.

A highly effective leader must use the same philosophy when searching for valuable information. A lot of the time they will find it from books, audios, videos, and events. The rest of the time the information they consume is worthless.

But that will not stop them from finding valuable information that will make them a more valuable person, increase their influence, and increase their personal growth. By making themselves more valuable, they are helping their teammates to become more valuable too by influencing them every day.

When a low performing leader is watching videos on You Tube or listening to audios, it will very rarely be anything that will help increase their personal growth, or their influence. They will most likely be listening to or watching something to do with music, or comedy.

I am not against this, but to spend most of their free time doing this is a waste. You will also very rarely see a low performing leader reading a book on leadership or personal growth. They are not interested in searching for valuable information.

They just rely on the information they received when they went to school or college. Educating yourself does not apply to a low performing leader. Even when they attend a training course in work, or a meeting, they are not present. When the training or meeting is finished, they will forget everything that was said or taught.

3. Filter Out The Information You Don’t Need

In 2009 when I started my self-education and self-development, I used to consume everything. I thought that everything I saw, listened to or read should be helpful to me. It would have made me feel bad if I threw away notes, or only took in what I thought would make me a more valuable person.

My book collection grew and my notebooks grew. It wasn’t until about 2011 that I realised I didn’t need every single book I had, or every notebook I had. So the books that didn’t serve me I gave away to a used bookshop.

The notebooks that didn’t serve me I shredded. Over the years while constantly searching I will have missed some things. However, it will not stop me.

10 years ago when I started my first leadership position as project manager in Liverpool, I was reading the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek. If you have not read this book then I highly recommend that you do. This was the first book I read where it felt that Simon was actually speaking to me.

It was like he had written the book for me personally. There was one piece of advice that I took from Simon and it was this, “Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of the people in your charge.”

4. Take Care Of Your People

In other words, it is your responsibility to take care of your team. It is your responsibility to help the team, to influence the team, and to lead the team.

I took my leadership and my personal growth a lot more seriously after I read Simon Sinek’s book. I didn’t consume everything within the book because some of the information did not make me a more valuable person.

However, the valuable information I did consume is still very valuable to this day, and I have used this information when leading a team or helping an individual.

As you are reading this article and my other articles, there will be some information that you will find more valuable to you. For other people it will be the same but different information. You have to take the valuable information you find, and use that information to your advantage.

That is what a highly effective leader does. They use the valuable information they have to help increase their own influence and increase their personal growth.

But, most of all, they will use the valuable information they have to help their teammates. So, whenever you find valuable information, always remember to use it for yourself and others.

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A highly effective leader will come across valuable information every day. They are constantly searching. They are reading books when others are watching television. They are listening to personal growth and leadership audios when others are listening to music.

They are watching personal growth and leadership videos when others are watching silly videos on You Tube. They are increasing their influence, increasing their personal growth, and helping teammates to do the same when others are standing back letting things happen.

Highly effective leaders make things happen. How much are you willing to do the same?

Make sure that what you see, listen to, and read is worth it. If it is not then don’t do it.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

20 thoughts on “What Are You Searching For?

  1. “Highly effective leaders are reading books when others are watching television.” I love it Tom.

    That was a good illustration of finding oil and not stopping until they found it. People tend to give up the moment they see failure and only those that persevere despite of many failures will see success.

    Regards,
    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased you found the article valuable.

      Not giving up is so important, as we are not only letting ourselves down, but we are letting our team down too.

      Persevering is how to do it, just as you say.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Hi Tom
    This is brilliant. Your article is very informative.

    I like it when you said that you had to shred the books that you didn’t need and how you had to free yourself from listening to and reading everything.

    No wonder only a few succeed because the rest are busy doing unprofitable things.

    You said it well and I quote

    “A highly effective leader will come across valuable information every day. They are constantly searching. They are reading books when others are watching television. They are listening to personal growth and leadership audios when others are listening to music.”

    I think point is if we stop watching too much garbage. Then 24 hours will be enough for us.

    Great article. Turned off my TV awhile again.

    This is a positive reinforcement. Thank you for this.

    1. Hi Ibi,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. I’m really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      You are right, 24 hours will be enough for us if we stop doing the unproductive things more than the productive things. If we focus on the right things, then we will get there.

      If you need any further help or advice then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. The analogy of reducing all of the excess in leadership can also be applied to the mundane as well.

    It sounds like my house a year ago the rubbish piled up everywhere, My wife and I thinking we needed it all, then one day we got a skip and went through the whole house with a scalpel.

    I was surprised how much we threw away, Just in live as in business you have to strip back to the basics to move forward.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      Thank you for sharing your story of getting rid of the excess you didn’t need. That is exactly what to do as a highly effective leader.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Hi Tom, It seems like you’ve been in this journey for a while trying to grow as a leader and influencer. I’ve been working since 2015 to build an online presence through blogging. I’ve been in my current niche since 2017 trying to share the knowledge that I’ve gained blogging and building an online business. I’m trying to filter out information that I don’t need but a lot of the time still, it’s hard to know what I need and what I don’t without going through it. Since you’ve had so much experience, I was wondering if you had a list of books that you recommend to help with building an audience and becoming more valuable as an online business owner to my readers? Thanks! Martina

    1. Hi Martina,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you have found the article helpful.

      Thanks for sharing your story about your online business, and good luck with trying to build your online presence and influence.

      As far as books that will help you online, I have read: “The Interpreneur” by Simon Coulson. “ReThink Social Media” by Paul O’Mahony. “Permission To Screw Up” by Kristen Hadeed is a good book to learni influencing and leadership schools too.

      They will be a good start for you I would think. If you need any further advice or help then don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Hi Tom. What a great article. Leaders are leaders for a reason. They have to ” lead the way “. This also come with great responsibility. Especially those they are leading. Using information or methods they have acquired and being able to correctly teach, help or assist others around him/her. Great read . keep it coming

    1. Hi Felicity,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      Leaders definitely do lead the way and lead with example. Especially Highly Effective Leaders.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. Hi Tom,

    Great article on leadership. I like the point you make about filtering out the information you do not need.

    There are too many leaders who end up not managing their time correctly then the overall project suffers.

    Do you think this would also help to filter out unnecessary information too?

    Regards,

    Alan

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really happy that you found the article valuable.

      I would definitely say filtering out unnecessary information is a must for anybody. As you say, if we want to utilise our time to the full then we need to focus on the right things.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Wonderful! Caring is also filtering out everything not needed and being on a constant search to improve yourself. As a leader, like your website and article so well describes, it is so much more effective to inspire than to demand. On a constant search to become a better leader and person with never ending growth and endless stream of new ideas, that is the leader that inspires highly effective team members. Thank you so much for this very inspiring article!

    1. Hi Jana,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. It’s so great that you found the article valuable.

      Filtering out what you don’t need in your life aswell aswell as with your people is really important if we want to utilise our time to the full. I love how you say the search to be a better leader and person with never ending growth and endless stream of ideas. That is me on a daily basis too.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  8. Great article! Self-development never ends, and it shouldn’t! Also, I loved the part about filtering out information, not everything is important. That’s so true.
    Keep up the great work. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Tanja,

      Thank you for your comment. Really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      Filtering out information seems very popular with people, and is really important if we are going to utilise our time to the full.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  9. Highly effective leaders who constantly work on themselves are surely the ones that will reach new heights.

    As you said, they take care of their own people and this is what I believe mostly makes a leader a true one.

    Working with your people, encouraging them and listening to them is certainly what highly effective leaders should do.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article helpful.

      I believe the same thing, working on yourself every day will definitely elevate you to new heights. We just need to remain consistent with it.

      Taking care of our people is really important when it comes to helping them be their best. If we treat our people well, then it is very likely they will give their all. If we treat our people badly, then they are not going to give anywhere near their best, and will want to move on.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  10. Great post Tom. I definately gained more insight on filtering out non-needed information and over-complicated parts of videos, books and also conversing with others in general. I have noticed a lot lately how much people say are literally repeated programs imprinted on their minds and it is just reciprocated around in circles like a top that never stops. Unless however, you pick up the top and spin it in the other direction.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Rowan,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased you found the article valuable.

      Filtering our the information we don’t need is so important if we want to utilise our time to the full. There is a lot of repeated programs out there in all industries, we just need to make sure we only follow the ones that help us and are unique to our needs.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

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