University of You

Ever wanted to found a university?

Probably not, but even so, this is your chance.

Let me tell you about my university - the University of Pete. I finished my Masters of Business a few years ago, and realised that a lot of what I learnt just came from what I read. The University provided the structure and the accountability, but I could have done a lot of it on my own. So I decided I’d found my own university, and allow only one enrollee - me. And each year in January I set my curriculum for the year. This year my curriculum includes:

  • Read and summarise 12 books (I do this every year)
  • Learn to use Keynote and Pages (Mac versions of PowerPoint and Word) really well
  • Showcase with Matt Church – a six-month program to design and deliver a world-class keynote
  • Learn Indonesian to a competent conversational level (vocab of 1500 words)
  • Learn about “lie-spotting” – not sure where or how, but I’ve been reading a bit about it, and think it could be pretty handy to be able to read emotions better

I just read a great book by Josh Kaufman called The Personal MBA: Master The Art of Business. He has created a list of 99 business books that contain the fundamental principles of business, and he makes a compelling argument against spending $150k for an MBA in a top American school when you can learn the same stuff yourself.

My invitation is to create the University of You and to set your learning agenda for the year. What will your curriculum be? What do you want to learn this year? Is there an area of your financial world that you want to know more about? Or an area that relates to your business or your work, or even just your personal effectiveness? Being a Thought Leader obviously requires you to keep building your knowledge, both in your area of expertise, and more broadly.

I’ve created a discussion group on Thought Leaders Central called University of You 2012 where you can record your curriculum for the year, and see what others are studying. I’d love to hear what you’re planning to learn this year – what courses and workshops you want to take, what areas you want to study and what you really want to learn.