Special Note:  Today’s LeadingWithQuestions.com post is #500!  First post was March 15, 2012.

Originally posted @ CareersInGovernment.com

Question One:  If I did not know how to swim and I wanted to become a swimmer, is there a book you could recommend that if I just read it cover to cover (or at least skimmed it) I could then “Check the Box” that says “Bob is now a swimmer!”?

Or Question Two:  Might you know of really good instructional video on “How to Swim” that if I just watched it (only fast forwarded through the boring parts) I could then “Check the Box” that says “Bob is now a swimmer!”?

What?   You don’t know of any such book or video!

So please talk to me:  If I really want to “Check the Box” that says “Bob is now a swimmer!” what must I do?

Might your answer be: “Bob if you want to “Check the Box” that says “Bob is now a swimmer!” you have to get wet!  You have to jump into the water!”

You might be wondering: “Where is Bob going with this?”

Question:  How many times have you seen companies or individuals “Check the Box” that their staff or they are now a “X” because they read the book or watched the video or attended the training seminar?

A good friend of mine recently took over as the Director of Training for a well-known Fortune 500 company.  His very first action was to move the “Finish Line for Training” from “Attended the Training” to a “Check-In” 1-3 months after the training to see if staff are actually doing what the training seminar trained them to do!   Seems kind of obvious doesn’t it?  But often the obvious is not all that obvious – until it is pointed out.

So if you want to become a “X” what do you have to do?  You have to jump into the water.

Now please understand that reading great books on “X” or watching “Ted Talk” videos on “X” or attending great training seminars on “X” will indeed be incredibly helpful. But does doing 1, 2 or all 3 of these very educational activities automatically make you a “X”?   When do you get to “Check the Box” that you are actually a “X”?  You are 100% correct – it is when you have gotten into the water to develop the new skills required to then be able to “Check the Box” that you are now a “X”!!!

Do you remember the simple wisdom of:

Watch One!

Do One!

Teach One!

ONCE YOU HAVE CHECKED THE 3 BOXES ABOVE YOU CAN THEN “CHECK THE BOX” THAT YOU ARE INDEED A “X”!

Final Question:  Can you tell me where the nearest swimming pool is?

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