“Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value surprisingly quickly.”

“Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value surprisingly quickly.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Fredy Jacob

Where are your skills and knowledge not keeping up with the times?

Where have you dropped your intellectual anchor, letting the whole world know you have stopped at what seems like a safe spot to rest and sit things out?

I was recently asked to help a friend with her printer, to make copies of her resume to secure a new job. Although she had brand new cartridges installed, her computer couldn’t communicate with her printer due to an old, unsupported operating system.

EXERCISE:

Where are you falling a bit behind in the skills and knowledge needed to be successful professionally or personally? What investments can and will you make that will appreciate in value in the years ahead?

 

“Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off.”

“Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off.”

—Bill Murray, American actor

Image created in Canva

Who are the people in your world who give you instructions to build a clock when all you ask is the time?

Knowledge can definitely be useful, but too much of a good thing can go awry pretty quickly.

We all wish to be helpful, to be of service, and to contribute. Unfortunately, in our many efforts to do so by sharing what we know, we do not always consider the openness and receptivity of those we wish to enlighten.

EXERCISE:

Where would it be much wiser to share far less of what you know in either your professional or personal communities? We all know no one likes a know-it-all.

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

—Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father & 3rd President of the United States

Thomas Jefferson

Who are the “know it alls” in your personal and professional communities? Who are those who insist on showing everyone that they are the human version of Google?

How do you feel when you are around them? To what degree might you be on someone else’s “know it all” list?

Being interesting versus interested can only take us so far, and it almost always backfires. Wanting to be understood versus seeking to understand with more of a beginner’s mind seems like a wiser path to take.

EXERCISE:

Click on this link to explore more of Jefferson’s wisdom and learn more about his brilliance.

Everyone Shines

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

—Susan Cain, Author of Quiet

Image of a book filled with lights

Photo from Unsplash by Long Vang

Genetics versus Environment.

Nature versus Nurture.

What do these factors have to do with how each of us turns out along our life journey?

As a coach passionate about growth and development, I do my best to keep the lights of knowledge and the beacons of wisdom prominent in my world. My intent is to shine my best in each of my communities, with the goal of contributing to those around in a meaningful way.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you “amp up” the environmental voltage to illuminate yourself and those around you so that everyone’s inherent qualities and talents shine even brighter?

The Knowledge of the World

“The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.”

-Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Image of Milford Sound in New Zealand

Image of Milford Sound from Flickr by Bernard Spragg

What do the following places have in common?

  • Bay of Islands
  • Milford Sound
  • Auckland
  • Dunedin
  • Tauranga
  • Wellington
  • Akaroa

For those who wish to travel more, these are wondrous destinations in New Zealand.

I visited these amazing places as part of my 60th birthday adventure. Getting out into the world can be transformational! In just a few weeks, I felt I took a quantum leap in my awareness and knowledge of geography, history, culture, plants, animals, and many other subjects.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you investigate and explore your world more fully to add and expand to you awareness and knowledge?  Consider scheduling one of your most exciting “Bucket List” travel adventures soon.

Whether to say it

“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”

—Author Unknown

When can less be more? How often do you find yourself giving others advice or sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience, only to find that it is unwanted?

Were you ever that kid in school who raised their hand saying “call on me!” so you could share the right answer and show how smart you were? If so, what reaction did you receive from the other students? If not, how did you feel about your classmates who did?

I have found it very useful, in recent years, to restrain my exuberance to share what I know in order to more fully allow others to share and contribute their thoughts and ideas. Not surprisingly, I learn far more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open!

EXERCISE:

Where can less from you and more from others be a wiser recipe for your future success?

Invest in Knowledge

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”

—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father

A client recently shared with me a book titled Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Tom Corley.

From Corley’s years of research into hundreds of rich and poor people, I learned that of the wealthiest people:

  • 88% read for 30 minutes or more each day.
  • 63% listen to audio-books during their commute.
  • 94% read about current events.
  • 50%+ read biographies of successful people.

In contrast, only about one in fifty of those struggling financially engaged in daily self-improvement reading.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you invest the time and resources in your personal and professional development efforts to lead an even more richly rewarding life?

drowning in information

“We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge.”

—Rutherford D. Rogers, Deputy Librarian of Congress

Image of keyboard, hands, coffee, and watch

Image from Unsplash by Catheryn Lavery

Did you know that the average person has five social media accounts, and spends one hour and forty minutes browsing their networks each day?

The average adult also spends more than twenty hours online, and watches over thirty hours of television per week.

How does your usage compare to these statistics? To what degree are you drowning in information?

Unfortunately, many of us simply assume that is “the way things are,” and that we simply need to keep up with the pace of life and swim for our lives.

EXERCISE:

Estimate what percent of the information you take in through social media and other sources is truly valuable and worth knowing.

Begin today, through a more discerning perspective, to remove or eliminate at least one such source until your head is fully above water.

common knowledge

“The uncommon application of common knowledge will pave the way to extraordinary success.”

-Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI

Image from Flickr by Dennis Skley

Image from Flickr by Dennis Skley

Do you have paper clips in your office or home?

When you consider their use, how many options come to mind beyond clipping pieces of paper together or sealing a bag of chips you haven’t quite finished?

Take a moment to brainstorm five or more uses, or get a group of friends together to see how many possibilities can be discovered for applying uncommon usage to this very common item.

EXERCISE:

Check out this YouTube video on binder clips, and this website on uncommon things you can do with a paper clip.

How can you use this exercise in either your personal or professional worlds to pursue new levels of success?

“The measure of who we are is…”

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

-Vince Lombardi, American football coach

Photo from Flickr by Jeff Kubina

Photo from Flickr by Jeff Kubina

Readers of The Quotable Coach series have learned, over the years, of my passion for cooking. I have been described, from time to time, as an “army cook” who can take a variety of ingredients from my fridge and make them into something tasty.

Recently I learned about a number of websites and apps that do the same, with an almost unlimited number of tasty combinations. On myfridgefood.com, you simple select the items you have on hand, press enter, and find yourself with a handful (or more) of options to try.

EXERCISE:

Examine your “cupboard” of knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents. How can they be combined with the spices and seasonings of your other positive qualities? What tasty recipes can you come up with for your professional and personal success?