Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about the journey towards excellence. After several weeks of focusing on the topic, you may believe you are now well on your way to becoming the person you were always meant to be – great, good for you! But is that all there is? Now that you are well on your way towards achieving (or have obtained) your excellence does that mean you can check out? Absolutely not, now is where the real work begins. Now it is time to contemplate how you can best train-up the next generation or, as they say in business, build bench strength. The truth is that you operating in your excellence zone will have no lasting impact if you don’t share your knowledge with others. That is how we leave a lasting legacy and best steward over a lifetime of knowledge.
In A Short Guide to a Happy Life (2000), Anna Quindlen* reminds us that “All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good too then doing well will never be enough” (p. 23). By now I hope that you are beginning to see that everything you’ve worked so hard to learn during your time on earth will be lost if you don’t give it away. “Give it away?” you ask, “Are you crazy? Do you realize how long it took me to learn it?” Yes, I most certainly do. My question to you is, “Do you recognize how much quicker you obtained your knowledge because of the work of those before you?” Never forget that you know what you know because of what others poured into you and the work that you accessed during your quest for knowledge and wisdom.
So here’s the challenge, list one person or organization that needs the knowledge, wisdom, gifts, or talents you possess and consider how you might transfer your knowledge to them this week. Be creative here. The individual or organization need not be directly linked to your professional endeavors or chain of command although they certainly may be. As you think outside the box, consider nonprofits, extended family members, or even newly formed friendships.
* Quindlen, A. (2000). A short guide to a happy life. New York: Random House.