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Daily Leadership Thought #191 – Knowledge Without Action Is Just The Passage Of Time


I’ve sat through a large number of seminars and trainings with many leaders and one thing always sticks out: the most successful business people I know don’t just listen to and absorb information, they act on it.  This doesn’t mean they act on everything they hear, but when something does resonate with them, they tend to move quickly to make changes.

Far too many of my colleagues and clients look at seminars and trainings as a one time event instead part of an on-going and accountable commitment to their own professional development.  As a result, a great deal of useful information is lost to the demands of their busy schedule and an inability to sustain their focus.  I have certainly been guilty of this myself.  When you spend money on training you should expect a return on investment but the results will only happen if you actually apply what you’ve learned.

Knowledge without action is just the passage of time.   Life rewards those who continually strive to learn and get better at what they do.  Besides hard work, what often separates people who are very successful from those who are moderately successful (or struggle) is the willingness to be proactive about gaining the skills/tools necessary to secure their future.   You should also never assume that yesterday’s answers will solve the problems of today or tomorrow.   A certain amount of wisdom comes from experience; however, this always needs to be balanced with a concerted effort to get smarter and more effective at what you do.

There is no shortage of resources when it comes to professional or personal development.   The internet has made this information accessible in ways previous generations could not have imagined.  It’s also fairly easy to find seminars or lectures that address topics of interest to you.   Quality control can be an issue at times, but I believe most of us are pretty astute when it comes to sifting through information and finding what resonates with us.  If stuck, we can always ask around and trust input from our peers.  What matters most is what you do with the information.  A Harvard MBA is useless if you don’t properly leverage the experience while a community college degree can be invaluable if you make the most of it.

The next time you engage in a training opportunity (which I hope is sometime soon) I encourage you to walk away with 2-3 tangible action items that make sense to you and then ensure they happen.  Don’t burden yourself with too many items or try to absorb everything all at once.  Just make sure you always take away something of value and apply it. You can always revisit additional information as you make progress.   It also helps to approach any learning opportunity with some idea of what you want to get out of it before you start.  Come prepared with a list of questions that you want to get answered.   Knowledge always resonates best when it is relevant.  When you develop these habits and sum up the activities over time you’ll be amazed by what you will accomplish.

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One Response

  1. […] Daily Leadership Thought #191 – Knowledge Without Action Is Just The Passage Of Time (edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

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