February 19, 2014

How to Tap the Power of Knowledge

A young man, in search of the secret to acquiring knowledge, sought out the wisdom of Socrates. Socrates lead the young man down to the water, looked him in the eye, and said,"This is where your pursuit of knowledge will begin."

Not knowing what to expect, the young man was caught off guard when Socrates pushed his head under the water, and held him down as he struggled for air. As the young man's need for air increased, his struggle increased.

Finally, Socrates let him up. Gasping for air the young man exclaimed, "What does that have to do with acquiring knowledge?" Socrates replied, "When you want knowledge as badly as you wanted air, then you will have it."

In their ground breaking book, “Race Against the Machine,” Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee make a compelling argument for the rise in “technological unemployment.”

An entire class of knowledge based jobs, once considered untouchable by technology, are becoming automated, and creating a whole new class of unemployment.

We can't stop the advancements of technology but we can learn to work smarter. In the absence of investing in learning and developing skills to work smarter, the rate of change will outstrip our base of knowledge, reduce our market value, and potentially eliminate our careers.

“The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.”

-David Baily

Professional growth is an obvious target for acquiring new knowledge and clearly should receive our attention. However, a commitment to personal development is equally important to increase our impact in spiritual, family, and community roles.

Reading is a foundational strategy for acquiring knowledge and maintaining expertise. Take a quick personal assessment. Think of the following questions in relation to your most important personal and professional roles.

  • Do you have an expertise that is recognized and acknowledged?
  • What skill could you improve or acquire to set you apart from others or help you improve your roles and relationships?
  • Do you stay current on important trends and developments that impact your personal and professional role performance?
  • What is the potential your current professional skills could be replaced by technology?

You can improve or close your knowledge gap in any identifiable area by reading just 15 minutes a day. Committing to 15 will get you 30 will result in consuming 2,463,750 words in a year.

Read 30 books on any given subject and you will have few peers on the subject.

15 will get you 30!

You will acquire needed and desired knowledge without losing a breath of air! If you don’t commit to reading 15 minutes a day, you will be as much as 12,000 words behind someone who did read 15 minutes today.  If you are wondering, this post was worth 541 words.

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped, to deal with a world that no longer exists."  

-Eric Hoffer

Grasp the power and impact of finishing 30 books in a year by reading for just 15 minutes a day?

Leave me a comment and share the best book you have read in the last year or the book that had the most impact on your life or career.

2 comments on “How to Tap the Power of Knowledge”

    1. Bill, anyone who is a leader, aspires to be a leader, or wants to understand leadership would love Max DePree! Max also wrote "Leadership Jazz". I recall he liked to ask; "Who matters?" and "What matters?"

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