1. Solicit mental growth. Make this your new goal. Define it however you like. Just make sure whatever you do; you enlarge people’s thinking. Whom are you growing?
2. Be more challenging. Ask questions like: Is that always the case? So what? What stops you? What would happen if you didn’t? What’s your proof? Break people’s patterns. Make them stop, think and say, ‘Wow…’ How many questions did you ask yesterday?
3. Have a killer vocabulary. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use fancy words. Just strong words. Powerful words. Well-timed words. Unexpected words. Perfect words. Does your language challenge people?
4. Send people off to the races. Don’t just give people ONE idea. Give them forty. Expand the possibilities. Give them so much good stuff that they take out a piece of paper and ask you to repeat things. Are you conversations so valuable that people ask you what your brain-picking fee is?
5. Set a reading plan. Buy all the books you’ve been telling yourself you were going to buy. Create a visible cue in your office that forces you to pass by your stack everyday. Set a goal to read at least two books a week. What did you read today?
6. Study creativity daily. However many books you read each week, make sure at least one of them is about creativity or thinking. This will keep your brain fresh, motivate your melon and keep the steady stream of ideas flowing. Start with authors like Edward DeBono, Roger Von Oech and Julia Cameron. How did you make your brain more valuable today?
7. Set a writing plan. I challenge you to spend fifteen minutes a day on your writing. Journaling, blogging, morning pages, whatever. Fifteen minutes a day is a mere 0.09% of your entire week. THAT’S LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF YOUR WAKING HOURS. If you can’t do that, perhaps you should stop reading my blog and go read Tim Ferris’s blog. What did you write today?
8. Wake people up. Sometimes people need a good punch in the face. Not literally, of course. (Unless you’re talking about Matt Lauer.) Instead, seek to open the eyes and expand the horizons of the people you serve. Be their alarm clock. How are people changed after having a conversation with you?
9. Offer intentionally contraries. Even if you agree with someone, play devil’s advocate. Ask opposite questions. Make them consider all sides of the issue. Do you throw enough curveballs?
10. Call to Action. At the end of every blog post, article, podcast, video, speech, teleseminar (or any other published work), always present a Call to Action. Make people think. Make people act. Make people email you with their answers to your tricky question. What response mechanism are you using?