The three main characteristics of a good leader are that they know the way, they go the way, and they show the way. In this article, I will focus on the importance of knowledge. It all starts with “knowing” the way. To know the way, you must develop a teachable spirit, be curious about everything, and accept change and new ideas. Be a sponge, an eager learner. The most successful businesses are those that adapt to new policies and ideas, produce new products and avenues to market their products, and generally stay informed and remain abreast of the ever-changing marketplace. Leaders know that growing means change. It is part of prospering.
An effective leader must always increase their knowledge and develop wisdom. Knowledge is what you know and have learned like facts, information and all types of data. Think of knowledge as a noun; it is something you have. On the other hand, think of wisdom as a verb. Wisdom is in the doing. It is an action word. Wisdom is making intelligent decisions based on knowledge and then executing your decision successfully.
Knowledge is exploding all around us. Gain the knowledge you need by reading books filled with information that took years of someone else’s research and experience to accumulate. Listening to audio recordings while driving or doing other physical chores is a great way to gain another person’s knowledge while accomplishing a task. Magazines (especially trade magazines in your industry) and newsletters are often free. Read them regularly. With a few keystrokes, the Internet will overwhelm you with knowledge on almost any subject or topic. Attend seminars, workshops and conventions. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Empty your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse.” You will be the leader you decide to be by the knowledge you accumulate. You feed your stomach every day. Make sure you feed your mind also.
Be encouraged to grow your knowledge and accept change. Dare to listen with discerning knowledge to new ideas and concepts and how you can apply them.
Last but not least, always be an eager learner.