How to Learn Like the World’s Most Successful People – In Just 7 Minutes with Steve Cunningham

Check out episode
  • Learn how the world’s most successful leaders master their career and identify the specific skills critically important to their success and methodically learn them from the best experts
  • Know how the world’s most successful leaders acquire new skills and then put them into action one week at a time
  • Learn what is adult learning and the differences how adults and children learn

Resources/Links:

Summary

Steve Cunningham condenses the top points from a book each day into a 12-minute video recap for Read It For Me, his book summary service for entrepreneurs and business executives. Cunningham headed a digital marketing agency until 2016 and provided book summaries at first as a side project. The Canadian native launched his San Antonio-based startup in July 2017 after noticing how many marketing vice presidents and business owners he’d meet lacked time to read the business books in their offices. Read It For Me has thousands of global members, from solo entrepreneurs to smaller businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

In this episode, Steve shares how the world’s most successful leaders master their career and identify the specific skills critically important to their success and methodically learn them from the best experts.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:28 – Steve’s ideal client: somebody who has for a long time trying to get their team and their people to learn and have a tough time doing it. The conversation goes something like, “I wish I could get my people to run as I do” and they and people say, “I’m too busy and I don’t have enough time”. And the leader says, “Well you must not be motivated enough to get better at that”. So that’s kind of conversation going on in the head of our ideal client.
  • 02:03 – Problem he helps solve: We help our clients turn knowledge into action and results. And really help their team go from not being a learner to being somebody who actually puts into practice what they’re learning.
  • 02:32 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Steve: Some of the symptoms are you assign a book to somebody on your team with promises that they’ll read it and they’ll show up to the next meeting not having read it. .
  • 04:30 – Common mistakes people make when trying to solve that problem: trying to solve the problem of turning to learn into action through more information. And more information out is almost never the answer.
  • 05:19 – Steve’s Valuable Free Action(VFA):Get acquainted with the principles of adult learning. So, we forget that we’re asking adults to learn and adults learn differently than children.
  • 07:06 – Steve’s Valuable Free Resource(VFR): readitfor.me/mtii
  • 07:26 – Q:”What was your favorite book?” A: I would just pick up any good book on adult learning and really get immersed yourself in those principles.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“The most common mistake we've seen is trying to solve the problem of turning learning into action through more information.” -@stevecunningham Click To Tweet “The easiest thing you can do is get acquainted with the principles of adult learning. So, we forget that we're asking adults to learn and adults learn differently than children.”-@stevecunningham Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland: Hello everyone. A very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing The Invisible. I’m Tom Poland. Beaming out to you from little Castaways Beach here on the sand next to the waves in Australia. Joined today by Steve Cunningham. Steve, a very warm welcome sir. Where are you hanging out?

Steve Cunningham: I’m hanging out in San Antonio, Texas by way of Toronto. Celebrating the NBA world champion Toronto Raptors today.

Tom Poland: Yey! Yeah. I’d become a Torontonian too. Yeah, that’s quite an achievement. All right. So, for those who are not necessarily. No, I have no idea what we’re talking about.

Tom Poland: Go…we’ll go get on with the interview Steve. Steve’s the founder of readitfor.me which is an exceptionally extraordinarily humungous-ly brilliant concept and I’ve been a fan for some time and well we’ll maybe talk a little bit more about readitfor.me on the way through. He’s a lifelong lender so readitfor.me was born out of his passion. He’s voluntarily married. He’s got two girls 10 and 8, who are going to be home anytime soon. So, we will rock n roll with the interview Steve. And our title today is “How to Learn Like the World’s Most Successful People”, and Steve’s going to show us how to do that in just seven minutes. Steve, our time starts now. Question number one is, who is your ideal client?

Steve Cunningham: So our ideal client is somebody who has for a long time trying to get their team and their people to learn and have a tough time doing it. The conversation goes something like, “I wish I could get my people to run as I do” and they and people say, “I’m too busy and I don’t have enough time”. And the leader says, “Well you must not be motivated enough to get better at that”. So that’s kind of conversation going on in the head of our ideal client.

Tom Poland: Thank you. And question number two, six and a half minutes left. “What’s the problem you solved, you probably mentioned that, is there any more?

Steve Cunningham: Yeah. We help our clients turn knowledge into action and results. And really help their team go from not being a learner to being somebody who actually puts into practice what they’re learning.

Tom Poland: So when you’ve got this individual, this team, who don’t feel they have enough time to learn. Question number three is in just under six minutes left. What are some of the typical symptoms people experience with that problem?

Steve Cunningham: So typically some of the symptoms are you assign a book to somebody on your team with promises that they’ll read it and they’ll show up to the next meeting not having read it. You’ll buy access to some content that you hope will change their life and then they don’t consume it. So, it was really…those are the typical symptoms of giving information to people that go unused.

Tom Poland: I think now might be a good time to tell people what readitfor.me actually is. In fact, you could check out www.readitfor.me/mtii. So, Steve just gives us the heads of the sort of the umbrella view, or the helicopter view I should say, of readitfor.me.

Steve Cunningham: Sure. So, we take best-selling business and personal development books, boil them down into 12 minutes or less. A little bit longer than seven minutes or less and give them the main points. We do that through text audio and video. And interestingly one of the things, one of the typical symptoms, that we’ve seen is people buying access to readitfor.me giving it to their people which will dovetail into that number four, common mistake. So, what we found is that the problem is not in the information and even in the quality of the information you gave your people. It’s in the structure in which you ask them to learn that really matters. So, you can make the mistake that I just described with our content just as easily as you can with any other content.

Tom Poland: What I love about readitfor.me is that when I go for my walk, the first thing I do is fire a readitfor.me and get the genre’s that I’m most interested in, which is typically business development. And when I find a book that I absolutely love such as your recommendation. Thank you for Ray Dalio’s Principles. Then I go to…while I’m walking, I go to Affordable and get the book. And so, the cycle continues.

Tom Poland: So number four, any other common mistakes? We’ve got three minutes 45 seconds left, so there’s a feel at a time.

Steve Cunningham: Yeah. The most common mistake we’ve seen is trying to solve the problem of turning learning into action through more information. And more information out is almost never the answer.

Steve Cunningham: And that can take a lot of forms. You try to book club with your team, that didn’t work. So, you buy access to readitfor.me and then that didn’t work. So, you sent somebody on a course and et cetera. And it’s solving the problem of structure with more information. And that takes on many many different, different forms but that’s kind of the theme that we’ve seen play out across all the different types of leaders and leadership development programs that we work with.

Tom Poland: Right. So, three minutes left, question five. Therefore, what’s one valuable free action that an audience member can implement that’s going to help them more with this problem?

Steve Cunningham: Well I think probably the easiest thing you can do is get acquainted with the principles of adult learning. So, we forget that we’re asking adults to learn and adults learn differently than children. And here to Steve, there’s basically four, four many adult learning theory, four things you need to make sure that you cover. So, this is technically four actions but maybe we count them as one.

Steve Cunningham: So the first one has those people involved in the planning and evaluation of their learning. So, don’t give them content. Ask them what would you need to learn and how are we going to get you there.

Steve Cunningham: The second one is making sure that the learning has a problem focus. So, you’re not trying to solve the issue with content, you’re focusing on solving a problem. So, in business development, it might look like getting better at doing cold calls versus consume this book on cold calling. And it seems like a minor distinction but it’s actually very important.

Steve Cunningham: The third one is it needs to be relevant right now. So, it needs to be relevant to a challenge that the person is facing right now rather than some abstract problem they might face in the future.

Steve Cunningham: And then finally it needs to, you need to help those people learn by doing as opposed to consuming information. Which is not naturally how we’re taught how to learn in school. So, if you can get those four things right, you’re going to be miles ahead of most everybody else on the planet in terms of getting yourself but also other people you lead to learn.

Tom Poland: Perfect. Thank you. So, question number six. We’ve got a whopping 90 seconds left. What’s one valuable free resource we could direct people to that’s going to help them even more?

Steve Cunningham: Well on the landing page that we’ve created for you, you’re going to see a video describing exactly how to take people through that process. And a little more detail than we’ve got time for today. So that you can make sure that again you’re turning knowledge into action and results.

Tom Poland:Perfect. So readitfor.me/mtii. So mti, Marketing The Invisible, i. Thank you, sir. Question number seven, we’ve got 54 seconds left. What’s the one question I should have asked you but I didn’t?

Steve Cunningham: You should have asked me, “What was your favorite book?”.

Tom Poland: Yeah.

Steve Cunningham: And I would have said, I get asked that question quite a bit. And I would have, you know my answer changes quite a bit depending on the day. But I’ve spent some time thinking about that now. Now go down to number one I would just pick up any good book on adult learning and really get immersed yourself in those principles. The other one would be “Principles” which was that book that you have picked up and that really focuses on, now that you’ve learned something once, how do you make sure that you don’t have to learn it again over and over and over again. And Principles by Ray Dalio, though is not specifically about that, is probably the biggest takeaway that I’ve had from that book and has really changed the way I view learning. So, I’d say those two books are the two books that I would suggest to anybody who’s concerned about learning and making sure they’re learning sticks that follows more so than any other book I’m learning.

Tom Poland:Steve Cunningham thanks so much for your time.

Steve Cunningham: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Tom Poland: Thanks for checking out our marketing the invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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