Gaining Wisdom

Gaining Wisdom

“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”~ Chinese Proverb

Gaining Wisdom

Alexander Pope said, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” Sandy knew that phrase when she began her teaching career, but didn’t understand the full impact of the statement. Her head was filled with pedagogical theory and a working knowledge of her subject matter—history.

Sandy plunged in with an ambitious lesson plan, bringing her love of literature to the history lectures that were carefully typed and ready for delivery. When the students received the syllabus, many expressed shock when they saw that she had assigned various literary readings to supplement their history texts. Sandy left the classroom after that first day feeling confident and extremely pleased with herself.

The next morning, Sandy found a note in her mailbox. The headmaster of the school wanted to see Sandy ASAP. The headmaster didn’t ask Sandy to sit down when he began. “Mr. Sizemore, the high school’s English teacher, wants to know why you’re assigning your students many of the same books that he is having them read.” 

The headmaster went on to explain that Mr. Sizemore, a thirty-year school veteran, and master teacher, had constructed an award-winning curriculum around carefully chosen works. Sizemore was naturally curious why this newcomer was entering his domain. Sandy was embarrassed that she didn’t reach out to her fellow teachers. She didn’t consider that while everyone taught in individual classrooms, the faculty was still a team.

Before you think you know it all, consult with those who might actually know it all. Successful innovators, entrepreneurs, and change agents leverage a large network of mentors to broaden their base of expertise. The wisdom you can gather from those around you is an invaluable tool, and you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.

Consider this …

1. List the areas of expertise that you don’t currently have, but need, to be optimally successful.

2. Identify the experts to whom you have access (or can get access through others) who can help fill the gaps in your expertise.

3. Prioritize the knowledge and guidance you need now, and make a plan to get it from the ones who have it.

 

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Innovator’s Field Guide)

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