Lessons Everywhere: You Can Learn Strategy In The Most Unlikely Of Places
Developing yourself is about learning and drawing knowledge from books, experiences, and other sources, refining the information and organizing it in such a way that it both suits and reflects you.
When it comes to retaining lessons learned from other people, that knowledge, which contributes to the overall package of who you are, should not all necessarily be drawn from one source. And there are various reasons for which it’s important to maintain a wide variety of sources.
First, if you take all the information from one source, you become more of a replica of another person’s experiences than a person of your own making.
“Just because you don’t agree with someone’s message, ideology, and values, doesn’t mean you can’t draw ideas from how they may approach their effectiveness.”
Second, taking it all from one source makes you equally susceptible to that source’s vulnerabilities. What he or she knows and doesn’t know shapes what she or he can and can’t understand and adjust to. Essentially, you would follow that same path.
Third, there is an opportunity cost to drawing most or all of your knowledge from one source – you lose the breadth of insight that’s available across the board of other existing sources.
Lastly — and what this post covers briefly — it’s important to consider lessons gleaned from those with whom you may not agree. You may not agree with their beliefs, but it can be the structure and delivery of their leadership, effectiveness, and communication that might provide some insight into reaching people and presenting those beliefs. Be able to separate the ideas from their delivery in order to keep your mind open to all approaches.
So, keeping those benefits in mind, what and who are your sources of information, knowledge, and inspiration, from which you can pick and choose lessons?
Due to its different ideologies, politics is an area where this lesson can be applied.
For instance, there have been national conversations in the last few years about the nation’s politics and the leadership of our current President. For some time, people have been concerned about the President’s approach and intentions while others have thought those concerns were premature and overblown.
We’re in one of the most toxic and divided periods in modern American history but even in our new modern malaise there are valuable lessons which can be gleaned.
For example, despite that divide, some detractors of the President have been honest enough to draw some lessons from his demeanor and approach.
They rail against his message but can respect, are left in awe by, and feel they can learn from his (shameless?) self-promotion and how he inserts himself into the established landscape, traditions, and expectations while maintaining his own identity.
Aside from some things he does we should avoid, there is opportunity to pick up some valuable approaches.
Granted, an entire conversation can be had about the validity and merit of his statements and alternative facts, but let’s stick to what can be culled from his approach.
(And NONE of this is to condone or reject any political stances or claims on the President’s part, party, or staffers. This is strictly commentary on some of his methods, not his reasoning or temperament.)
Ask yourself how you can consider these takeaways:
Breaking The Mold
How do you introduce new ideas?
How persistent are you with new ideas you may find beneficial to the environment in question?
How do you take the temperature in the environment to determine when the best time is to introduce your take on things that exist as well as those which are ripe for change?
Promoting Your Brand
How do you or will you promote who you are and what people want to see from you?
How do you understand what it is you can do for others — your client, your customer, or your organization?
Many may say the President promotes what he can’t deliver, but that aside, how will you deliver what you can promote?
How do you get your message out there?
How urgent do you make your message?
How do you make it stand out from the rest?
Inserting Yourself Into The Conversation
How much do you self-defeat yourself when you may get the feeling you don’t belong?
How do you bring new perspectives to a conversation?
How do you defend your positions and opinions in conversations which may not be very welcoming to new opinions?
Just because you don’t agree with someone’s message, ideology, and values, doesn’t mean you can’t draw ideas from how they may approach their effectiveness.
The majority of the time, it’s not so much the message but the delivery that makes a stronger impact and garners attention.