June 9, 2013

Is Knowledge Enough?

Information is everywhere! We wish our brains could remember more. If only we’d attended more leadership conferences, if only we were better equipped to use the expansive knowledge that is at our fingertips.  

We indulge in excessive amounts of information. This is courtesy of our Western European heritage and our dependence on technology. For the first time in history, live newsfeeds reach us by the second with updates via smartphone, email, and webpage. We know a lot but we don’t quite know what to do with it all. Author Greg Boyd provides a backdrop for this particular information overload we all experience:

Around five hundred years ago Western culture underwent what’s called “the scientific revolution.”At that time our culture discovered that, with the right information, the laws of nature could be harnessed to our advantage. We learned that “knowledge is power.” This mind-set has produced a culture of people who put a great deal of trust in information. We tend to assume there is no problem that can’t be resolved if only we acquire the right information.

Does knowledge itself have everything we need?

That’s a great question. It’s true that knowledge has the power to influence our perspective and expand our thinking, but it’s not the complete package. The new study we just read doesn’t have the power to change us. Only we have that power, and we must be careful not to accumulate information without applying it!

Here are a few tips we need to lead well in the information age:   

Recognize the blessing of information.

We have access to endless amounts of knowledge, and it’s an exciting and powerful reality. I’m not downplaying the importance of reading books, blogs or research, but as soon as we are habitually collecting knowledge instead of putting it to use, we’ve stunted our growth.

Set speed limits on the informational superhighway.

Know when enough is enough, when to stop hitting the refresh buttons on the news feed and when to push the “power down” button on your smartphone. Establish even one day a week where technology is intentionally out of reach for you. Take time to be human, and to soak in and process all of that information you’ve been collecting.

Good leadership is “well done” not “well said.”

We are easily impressed with great speakers and lofty words, but how often do we stop to ask: do I see that philosophy’s practical implications? Great leaders have the ability to both express their ideas and live by them.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re actually harnessing the power of knowledge is to engage in a coaching relationship.

Having a trusted group of advisers to celebrate successes with, drive toward common goals and see areas of improvement truly has no price tag. Coaches are so valuable! Most of us miss out on the opportunity to coach or be coached because, as Boyd said, “we tend to assume there is no problem that can’t be resolved if only we acquire the right information.”

Don’t let the burden of improvement fall onto your shoulders alone. Trust that you won’t get far without help and partner with us by accessing one of our many resources or set up a coaching consultation for your business or personal leadership.

The information era is an exciting time in history to lead. What have you learned about harnessing the power of knowledge? Please share a comment with us or select one of the social media buttons to reach a friend with this message.

May the power of knowledge cause you to act and may you find abundant results!

To your excellence,

Coach Greg