Positive Quote: “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
This quote speaks to me on many levels about many topic areas.
The urgency of doing… I tie this to responsiveness. Responsiveness can be tied to communication. If someone reaches out to you for help, if you don’t let them know that you have it, are taking care of it and/or that you will follow up with them (and do that), they will have a perception that you are doing nothing with the request. If something is due on Wednesday, get it to them on Tuesday. That buffer helps you out in the long run and can be leveraged if the project or goal gets slightly modified or if the work triggers additional thought that can help evolve it to something better. I learned early in my career that responsiveness is a key contributor to success. Granted, it can be a double edged sword… don’t be so responsive that you turn in shoddy product. That is worse than not responding at all.
The next sentence… knowing is not enough and we must apply. To me, that ties to someone hoarding knowledge. I am a firm believer that knowledge should be shared and shared often. I want someone to learn my job, to be able to be the next ‘me’. To me, this helps me go further and achieve more in my career. Too often people can be held back because they have made themselves too critical and more difficult to replace. Everyone is replaceable, the pain and difficulties are what impact is seen. I would rather be seen as someone who can be dropped into any situation, even if I am not a subject matter expert, and once dropped, am able to gain my footing, achieve, and surpass the goals. The only way I can do that is by applying what I know and even better, continuing to learn more and more each day.
The final sentence….being willing is not enough, we must do….to me that signifies hiding of our talents and being afraid to push our boundaries or to stretch ourselves past what we are comfortable with. You don’t know what you are capable of doing unless you try.
From a work perspective, I can tie all this to myself. In my early twenties I left the comfort of a retail management position, where I was succeeding and thriving… to travel halfway across the country (Texas to NC) and take a demotion for the same company to work in the IT (Information Technology) field. I knew that I knew nothing about IT, my interactions with the help desk were hit or miss. However, I knew I wanted to challenge myself and learn something new, different, and deeper. I don’t regret it. I took what I learned from the retail side of the same company and used that to get my foot in the proverbial IT door. Flash forward a few years and I had moved from being an individual contributor back to leadership. One factor that helped me succeed was that I did not lose sight of where I came from; I used that knowledge and background to help me be a better catalyst and supporter of change. I was able to take IT speak and make it easy to consume for our non IT executives and leaders. In building that foundation, it helped make many things possible. I also accepted that I would never be a super technical person; I was more of a generalist than a specialist, yet having the breadth helped tremendously.
What new knowledge have you applied recently? Where have you pushed yourself past the boundaries of comfort?
Here is to a marvelous Monday and applying, doing, succeeding in pushing our comfort zone.
Have a great day!