Mind Tools: Sharpen Your Leadership Learning

I've always considered myself one who loves ideas. They don't have to be mine. Past co-workers might disagree, but my intention has always been to appreciate good ideas regardless of their origin. That's why I first became interested in Mind Tools (www.mindtools.com). The site is absolutely chock-full of great resources for an excellent career as the logo claims.  It is a paid site, but a large percentage of the material is available to people that subscribe to the free bi-weekly newsletter which I did for the first year or so.  I recently joined the Career Excellence Club (an extra, paid membership) and I'm almost overwhelmed at the available content.

For starters, the site has five major development areas, Leadership Skills, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Project Management, and Practical Creativity and five personal development areas, Time Management, Stress Management Information Skills, Communication Skills and (what was that last one, oh) Memory Improvement.  Each has a drop-down menu of several items, free and paid, that are at your disposal.  Many of the articles offered in each area are free as are some of the white papers and some of the development exercises.  One of my favorite free sections is the Free Skill Builders section.  There you can get access to the free resources provided presented in a training progression in each of the 10 development areas.

When you join the Career Excellence Club, another world opens up to you.  There are two levels of membership, Standard and Premium.  For a complete comparison of the two membership categories and pricing, check out this page.  I'm a premium member so I'll focus on that, but they go in to much better detail at their site, so check it out.  All of the paid articles and skills development exercises are available to you as are several other great features.  Among the things you get with the standard paid membership are the Premium Member Tools & Resources menu which provided access to Bite-Sized Training courses - designed to take only an hour; Coaches Clinic, Full Toolkit, audio Expert Interviews and 15 minute Book Insights on leading business books.

There is also a section for Learning Streams: groups of articles and resources that can be delivered via email over a few days or followed step-by-step online.  These streams include Manage Your Team, Solve and Decide, well, I'll just include the list.

Finally, there are mentoring tools, a mentor network, different ways to search, recommendations on how to use the tools and several other resources all built into the comprehensive site.  Mind Tools delivers comprehensive tools and resources to sharpen your career and leadership skills.  They understand that continuous improvement is necessary and that a career is built on an individual's ability to learn and grow.

One other note.  The first month of either the Standard or Premium Career Excellence Club membership is only $1!  Now what's your excuse.  Check them out at www.mindtools.com.  You won't regret it.

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