LifeDev, as part of the Make Waves Manifesto “We Believe in Investing in People,” will be kicking off this month in March.
One of our core values at iThemes is … learn and grow, then teach and share.
We believe in investing in each of our team members … and say that no one should be plateaued … we should have no “flatliners” on our team … each of us individually should be on an upward path of learning.
LifeDev is about taking the core values, philosophies and best practices we teach and coach internally and pushing that out to our customer community as well. It will be a 10-month program and each month will have a theme to go with it. Through the program we’ll be announcing special webinars, blog posts and other resources to help you learn and grow.
Our plan is to offer between 1-2 webinars a month, alongside blog post reviews of books we are reading or have found valuable. We are currently recruiting guest experts to teach on the themes below and will also be hearing from myself and other iThemes team members.
LifeDev doesn’t cost you a thing. It’s something free we’re offering. But it will cost you in time and energy but it will be well worth it!
Participants are asked to commit to …
- Read one book a month (either from our suggested reading list below or otherwise something profitable to their life from your own). We want you to establish a reading habit which reaps rich rewards for your life. (Or improve the one you already have!)
- Share what they are learning in a meaningful way with others. This can be through a blog post, video review, commenting in the Make Waves community, in-person mentoring, or however you decide to do so. But as you are learning and growing we want you to also teach and share it with someone else.
- Participate and report back to us on the LifeDev Blog how you’re doing so we can adequately measure the progress we’re making in your lives.
Also, we highly suggest you consider getting an Amazon Kindle (they are cheaper than ever before) or install the free Kindle apps on your devices or computer so you can streamline or improve your reading habit. (Here’s some information on how to maximize your Kindle.)
Here are the monthly Life Dev themes for 2012:
- March: “Know Yourself” – it sounds warm and fuzzy but in order to find lasting happiness and success it’s vital to know who you are, what you’re good at, what situations you thrive in and more. We’ll be talking about Strengths Finder, Myers-Briggs Personalities, StandOut and more that we use at iThemes to help people better understand themselves and what they are uniquely positioned to be successful at.
- April: “Defining and Achieving Success” – we’re going to look at your unique definition of success and happiness through creating “Why” statements (kind of a short, memorable personal mission statement, setting SMART goals for achieving them and more.
- UPDATED – May: “Personal Finances” – your perspective on and management of money is absolutely vital to your continued happiness and success. We’ll offer ways to ensure your financial life is on par with what you want to achieve in life.
- UPDATED – June: “Syncing Work-Life” – after you’ve determined what success looks like for you, it’s imperative that your job and career path matches and aligns with your strengths, passions, goals and more. We’ll talk about making sure you sync the needs and wants of you and your family with your vocation.
- July: “Enhancing Your Communication Skills” – being able to properly communicate with other human beings is an essential skill for life and work. We will offer tips and ways to improve your writing, speaking, and teaching skills.
- August: “Honing Your Personal Brand” – whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. It’s what people think of when they think of you or hear your name. We’ll talk about cultivating your “Know, Like, Trust” for maximum benefit in relation to your life goals.
- September: “Leading People” – it’s likely we’ve all suffered under poor leadership at some point in our personal and work lives. In your life you will likely be asked to lead other people to do or achieve something meaningful. Getting a group of diverse people and personalities to work together is a true challenge. We’ll be studying some basic leadership principles that will help you approach those leadership roles as they come in a healthy manner that gets results.
- October: “Maintaining Good Physical & Mental Health” – good physical health, nutrition and even ergonomics are well talked about and we have some tips to share … but often overlooked or looked down upon topic is mental health. Hear from experts in these fields talk about good health practices.
- November: “Giving Back” – when you enjoy success, we believe you have an obligation to give back by helping others. In the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving Day … and will do so throughout the month as we seek to be thankful for what we have as well as offer our time, talent and treasure to others.
- December: “Planning for Next Year” – December is often a gear down month heading into a new year, so it’s a great time to start dreaming, planning and looking ahead for what’s next in your life and to look back at what you’ve accomplished.
It’ll be a full year of personal development and growth as we Make Waves in the lives of our customer community.
LIFEDEV RECOMMENDED READING
Here is a list (in no paritcular order) of recommended reading that coincides with the Life Dev monthly themes and training we’re offering this year. We’ve tried to link the Kindle ebook versions wherever possible.
- Success for Dummies by Zig Ziglar - a great book for putting what success really is in perspective.
- Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud - I wish I had read this book years ago … it would have saved me a lot of unnecessary grief. Setting healthy boundaries in all areas of your life sets you free.
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey - I went through Dave’s Financial Peace University many years ago and it has profoundly helped me understand the role of money and for how to use it rather than it using me.
- On Writing Well by William Zinssner – learn to write, learn to communicate. The best way to write better is to read great work and this one has that. It’s a book you should schedule to read every year.
- The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman - from the founder of LinkedIn, this is a recent addition to my list, but viewing your work-life as an entrepreneur would is amazing advice.
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek – this book was almost solely responsible for us pushing out the Make Waves campaign this year. Start with your why … not the how or what … and work from there. Amazing book for life.
- Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson – I still use the bootstrapped marketing ideas from this great book (and series).
- Content Rules by C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley – THE primer on content marketing for your business with best practices and tips on using various tools to educate your audience.
- Do the Work by Steven Pressfield – too many people die with such amazing talent to contribute to the world. Because of fear or perfection we lock it up inside of you. This book is about fighting the resistance that keeps amazing things from being shared with the world.
- Why Johnny Can’t Brand by Bill Schley – a great primer on branding that can be applied to your personal brand.
- The Brand You by Tom Peters – written in a quirky manner but the points and tips and ideas hit home about building your personal brand.
- ProBlogger by Chris Garrett and Darren Rowse – this isn’t about making a six-figure income, it’s about using blogging and the tips included in it.
- Rework by Jason Fried – a foundational work on the new way to approach business and entrepreneurship.
- Tribes by Seth Godin – build and lead a community with the an amazing perspective and approach to looking at those who either pay you money or support your cause.
- The Janitor by Todd Hopkins – given to me by a minister, it helps me put what life is all about in perspective. It is about the people you love and legacy you leave.
- The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner – foundational book with principles of leading people that I read in college and still seek to apply today. It is a tad dry, but the principles are worth it.
- 12: The Elements of Great Managers by Rodd Wagner – skimming the table contents alone for the 12 elements is worth the read. Learn what people need to not just survive but thrive in their work.
(Do you have more book recommendations to add? Put them in the comments!)
So that’s the overview for what’s happening with the Life Dev part of our Make Waves Manifestos this year. I hope you’ll join us!