Thursday, September 12, 2013

Practical Application

It seems I live among people who are incredibly smart and astronomically stupid. Please allow me to explain...

Last week, we spoke of the fractured learning development process in the American education system that has spilled over into the corporate world (or vice versa). As Dan Pink brought to light a few years back, we are focusing far too much on memorization and testing. This seems to be the preferred method for educational advancement, certification, performance development, career escalation.... It is also a broken system. Process doesn't always ensure results, memorization for the sake of receiving a certificate has nothing to do with skill development, and management by metrics deters talent (it doesn't develop talent).

I see far too many people walking through the streets with their heads up their asses. They are smart, successful, wealthy, genuinely caring people....they just suck at articulating themselves.

Knowledge Attainment and Practical Application are two very different things.

We all know how to read and pass a test. Very few of us know how to bring in the knowledge, process it, and then tell others not only what it means to us but how it will help them. Simplicity has been trumped by an over-indulgence of knowledge attainment with no intent of application. Anyone can hole-up in their cubicle and read. No one volunteers to stand up and prove what they know: for fear of rejection, for fear of being tested and being unable to defend our attained knowledge, for fear that if we have learned but are unable to articulate we have not learned at all.

Stand Up
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Ask me to financial plan, run a report, or populate a spreadsheet and I will instantly fall asleep. We need to either adapt the skills to amend our weaknesses or to find a supporting cast with skills contrary to our own. What we cannot do is ignore what we are not good at and expect the job to get done. What we can do is amplify what we are good at....!

Be Uncomfortable
I do a number of speaking engagements, go to networking events, conduct focus groups, volunteer for the local HR Leadership Organization, and coach girls under 6 soccer. None of it is easy, all of it takes time away from my more pressing priorities, and each of the aforementioned activities comes with a great degree of discomfort.

There is still an element of discomfort speaking in front of crowds. Meeting new people is never simple. Putting personal challenges aside to perform one's job requires some agility. There is a degree of difficulty in accepting a challenge.

Get Over It 
It is easy to focus on what you are not doing well. There are a whole bunch of people who will take every opportunity to remind you where you could be doing better.

Ignore the insults and build your own truth!

No one has earned the right to tell you what is important to you more than yourself. You've got to keep your heart soft and your head strong. You have to accept what is going to suck about each day and conquer it. Nothing is determined indefinitely at the onset of any day.

The future is yours to create!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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