The SmartCompany Olympics Challenge: 1,500 metres – get ready for the long haul

feature-1500m-400aThe 1,500 metres has achieved iconic status in athletics as the closest event in the Olympics to the famous “mile”. It’s a test of both endurance and speed, with Zoe Buckman and Ryan Gregson wearing the green and gold for Australia at the event in London.

You can get into the 1500m spirit today and get yourself ready for the long haul by choosing a personal development activity that will benefit you.

David Knowles, partner at Pitcher Partners, told SmartCompany the personal development activity he recommended was attending a conference with a speaker who looked at forward trends.

“There are lots of conferences that have presenters with a forward-looking focus where you have a range of speakers talking about their vision of the future. It is a really good backdrop to seeing how the world is going to look differently and how that impacts on your own business,” Knowles says.

“When you start thinking about how mega trends play out you can soon see how that will impact on your part of the world.”

Jon-Michail, chief executive and founder of Image Group International, has a few suggestions for personal development activities that would have long-term benefits, first up is improving your verbal and visual language skills.

“Verbal language is about learning how to communicate effectively through assertive communication, think about voice coaching and practising through public speaking,” Michail says.

Michail says visual language “goes hand in hand” with verbal language and puts the focus on presentation: “Remember, everything talks even when your mouth does not.”

“A human being is no different to a product on a supermarket shelf; dress and grooming also plays a part. If you talk about business you also have to look business, but that does not necessarily mean a straitjacket suit.”

Michail says working on your networking skills is another good long-term personal development activity.

“Building an effective network is another extraordinary skill to have because it builds a lot of personal brand equity,” he says.

“The final and most important activity is what Socrates would have said 2,000 years ago, and that is to know yourself.”

Michail says true leaders know how to express themselves fully, they know what they want and can effectively communicate it.

That’s certainly something to work on.

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