4 Keys to Growth - Wisdom may be free but it takes a plan

Submitted by Jeff Galas on Fri, 04/07/2017 - 12:10

“If I am the smartest guy in the room, I am in the wrong room”

Catchy saying… I have used it.  Probably even meant it at the time. Now I know it to be irrelevant.

Today there is more information available at the tip of our fingertips.  A catchy saying replaces deep understanding.

Wise people know that 140 characters and a quick fact do not replace knowledge.  Furthermore, the value on that true knowledge (aka wisdom)  is only increasing as the rate of change is also increasing.  Knowing the data, or a quick fact isn’t enough but what do with it….

With that value increasing what does a person to do?

Key 1)

I am not the first, and I will not be the last to say this: “Attitude is everything”.  Successful people know your time is precious.  The battle for your attention never stops. The fires only seem to grow.

If you do not make growth a top priority, if you don’t set aside time for education, and if your mindset doesn’t focus on learning the fires will win the battle for your attention. Don’t let them!  Make learning and growth a key priority.  Make it a focus.  If you do the rewards will go well beyond financial success.  Attitude is everything, a focus on learning is the first priority.

Key 2)

The people that surround you are everything.  Surround yourself with people who will push, prod and if needed stop you in your tracks to force you to grow.  

My brother in law once taught me something very important: When you are in high school 100 dollars is a lot of money.  When you are in college 50 dollars is a lot of money.  When you get into the workforce what a lot of money shifts and can shift by who is sitting next to you.  

This is no different than with your focus and your values.  If the people next to you value education and growth the chances are you will too.  If you surround yourself with people that value holding on to old thoughts and never challenging you … chances are you will hold on to beliefs whether they are true or not.

Key 3)

“Trust in god, all others bring data” W Edwards Deming.

It is a danger to believe that experience alone is a teacher.  Often our experience and our memories eliminate key variables.  As a growth minded person your job is to always ask: How do we know what we know?  Challenging assumptions to get towards knowledge as opposed to loosely tied facts.  Conclusions based on bad assumptions or limited understanding in the best case lead to lucky and in the worst case lead to catastrophe.  

Creating a process that allows to figure out what you need to know, a path to understanding those variables and in the end deciding is the path to growth.

Remember those first two keys?  Key 3 only builds off of that.

Key 4)

So how do we know what we know?  We develop a system of learning.  A system to challenge assumptions and locate all variables. The system my clients learn is PDLA.  Plan Do Learn Act.

  • P - Plan – included is a prediction of what you believe will happen

  • D – Do – Put the plan into action.  

  • L – Learn – You made a prediction.  How close were the results? Why better? Why worse?

  • A – Act – Make a new plan based on the new information.  No plan stands up to its first interaction with the world.  Yours will not either.  This is where the learning happens.

This is not an all-inclusive list.  4 keys are not the end all be all.  However, if you nail these 4 keys, you will grow.  If you nail these 4 keys you be ahead of your competitors.  Start today – Let me see your plan!

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