Positioning Yourself To Thrive in 2010

I was earlier tempted to write an article called “ Hail Tiger” not to celebrate his golf exploits and not even his off course misadventures but for coming clean when he is in the rough and bunkers after a bad ‘drive’. The truth shall make you come out of the woods, huh? But let’s leave that for another day and unpack some truths which will make you run the 2010 course with distinction. The need to share with you insights on what will make you extend your boundaries in the year ahead has been weighing heavily on my spirit.

Yet another year of your life has just passed and what have you achieved? A new year is beckoning, and you have to make the most of it. As you bury the disappointments, failures and misadventures of 2009, I want you to resurrect your dreams and aspirations in 2010. The time to do that is now. In this article I would like to share some truths which will position you and set you up for success in 2010 and indeed the years ahead.

Knowledge Makes You a Trailblazer

Knowledge has always been at the forefront of the development of any people. Let me take you back into history. Earlier civilisation was driven by the Egypt and Kushite people in the period 200BC because they had superior knowledge which constructed pyramids, trading systems and irrigation technologies. Later the centre of civilisation shifted to the Mediterranean region, in particular Greece and the Roman Empire. This period raised great thinkers and philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.

With time the centre shifted to England and that period saw England driving civilisation especially during the industrial revolution and early invention in science and technology. America then took the baton and has been leading because of the knowledge capital of its people. Did you know that more than 5 of the world’s top 10 universities are in the US? 129 of the world’s top universities are in the US? Yes! The majority of the world’s top 100 patents are from the US? Churchill was right when he said ‘empires of the future will be empires of the mind’

Knowledge Pushes You Up

The knowledge you have works according to the law of density. Like precious metals, density is directly proportional to the value. Common metal density is as follows in descending order platinum, gold, silver, palladium and copper. Platinum is the king of metals because it has the highest density – the ratio of its mass in proportion to volume. If you have a higher knowledge density your value will also be higher. The quantum and quality of your knowledge will extend your boundaries in 2010. It is going to be about what and how much you know? What and how much you know will build your substance, stature and credibility.

It is time that you progress your knowledge from related to unrelated bundles of knowledge, complex knowledge clusters through to extending the existing body of knowledge. For example – early in my career I joined a telecom company years ago in their training department. I learnt training methodologies (related) , then learnt about the whole HR value chain, telecom business value chain (unrelated and complex knowledge), and at post graduate level I did a detailed study of telecom business (extended existing body of knowledge). At each progressive knowledge level, my career progressed. Over the years I have deliberately build my competency around leadership development and management consulting across different business/organisation environments and have consulted extensively in South Africa and beyond. The point I am making is that knowledge presents your life with a multi trajectory of opportunities not just in your career but even in business or ministry.

What you know alone is not enough, but what you do with it. The insightful application of knowledge is called wisdom. Wisdom is about applying what you know in good time and good measure.

How Do You Increase Knowledge?

The primary way to increase knowledge is to read and study. Technology has made life much easier – you can read on the internet, book summaries, you can listen to audio books, e- books (some of them are even free), podcasts. There are various media formats which you can use to increase your knowledge. Set for yourself simple targets to read books. I have shared before, how years ago I brought a whole bags of books from Nigeria (books are cheap there!) when my family was expecting goodies. Knowledge is the best investment you can ever make into yourself and those around you and its sure to earn compound interest and is not subject to economic and political vagaries.

Ask a lot of questions! There is no better way to increase knowledge than to ask. I am doing work for one of the world’s biggest platinum miners. Through that work, today I managed to share some of the knowledge I recently gained about mineral density.

Knowledge works with the law of association. You cannot increase your knowledge beyond the company which you keep. To increase your knowledge you need to change your associations or at least increase the quality of your associations. As you associate, knowledge and wisdom is bound to rub onto you.

Acknowledgements: This article is inspired by teachings from my most dear friends Pastors Charles and Juliana Magaiza

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