The smartest and busiest people, like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, apparently spend 5 hours a week doing deliberate learning. They do this because they recognise learning is the best time investment we can make. It pays back by enhancing personal and business success. You’ll see many items on the subject if you search the web or YouTube. One particular online article, penned a year ago, caught the Badger’s eye recently because it struck a chord with some of the motives for the Badger’s website.
One powerful point this article made is:
‘Unlike money, when you have knowledge and you use it or give it away you don’t lose it. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant.’
True! When you convey knowledge to help someone else, you aren’t weakened but they are enriched. A win, win.
Some years back the Badger ran a magnificent team that successfully delivered the systems and services for trading UK wholesale electricity under new arrangements (NETA). Everyone learned lots, and the Badger’s employer wanted salient learning passed to a similar project underway in the Czech Republic. The Badger was sent to Prague ‘to see how it’s going and pass on knowledge gained from experience’.
The Badger met the young Czech PM at his desk in Prague. His desk was a mess and covered in papers and post-it notes. The PM was hungry to succeed, but stressed, working 14 hours a day, and only in control of his project by his finger-tips. He met with the Badger only because his line management insisted. At first the PM was antagonistic, but eventually he had an epiphany and willingly absorbed the Badger’s knowledge. Over lunch on the final day, the Badger told the PM that his success depended on finding time to routinely helicopter away from events to think, learn, and strategize. We parted on good terms.
Six weeks later the Badger went to Prague for a follow up. The project was doing well. The PM was pleased to see the Badger, relaxed, in control, and proud of the project’s progress. His desk was tidy and had a framed picture of a helicopter at one corner that he proudly said was his reminder to helicopter away from events to think and learn. He now allocated an afternoon every week for that very purpose. He thanked the Badger profusely, which was embarrassing! He and his project went on to great success.
So, pass on your knowledge to help others freely! It’s satisfying, and you don’t lose anything by doing so. Remember, in today’s knowledge and information world, working hard is only part of what’s needed to succeed. Learning hard is the other part. Never be too busy to learn and always absorb knowledge from others with experience…