Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Knowledge is power

To what do you attribute your success?

This question was answered in a very interesting fashion on a recent podcast Rock to the Top. Dr. Paul interviews Dayna Steele, a lively author and former rock-n-roll disk jockey in Houston. In the interview Dayna talks about meeting and associating with rock stars like Jon Bon Jovi, Sammy Hagar and other great rock legends. She provides interesting insight into their lives, how they think and what drives them.

In her book Rock to the Top Dayna talks about what drives these famous rock stars to be successful. What most caught my attention was her answer to the question posed above. She used Gene Simmons, from the band Kiss, as an example: Gene said he attributes his success to his ‘voracious’ reading habit; he reads every chance he gets. Dayna then quoted Fortune article she’d read where Warren Buffett said the same thing. Two very different people, both successful in very different ways, who attribute their success to their appetite for reading and gaining knowledge.

On a related note, George Ambler talks about the importance of taking time to stop and think. George points out that setting aside time to think is critical for effective leadership. Scheduling time to think allows the mind to tune in to the important nuggets of knowledge and filter out the non-essential and potentially detrimental thoughts and ideas.

The third item in the five factors of leadership asserts that knowledge is power, when it is applied. When the knowledge is applied it increases the success of the person applying it as well as those whom he/she leads.

Consequently, success comes from combining three important aspects of knowledge:

  • Reading: Acquiring new ideas
  • Thinking: Reflecting on the impressions gained through reading
  • Acting: Applying the knowledge gained through effort and hard work.

To what do you attribute your success?