Gama Newsletter
April 2014
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Is Knowledge Truly Power?

By Tony Bosch, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C., CHS, MFA
Executive Vice President, Broker Development, HUB

I had the pleasure of attending the LAMP meeting last month. For some reason I found the experience much more beneficial this year than in previous years. This realization led me to reflect on the possible reasons why. Was it that the quality of the material had changed? Was the content more relevant? Was the venue more appealing? Were the interactions between participants more enjoyable? Some or even all of these may have been contributing factors, but after some serious soul-searching I realized that it had more to do with a personal attitude adjustment I made over the past year as it relates to training.

A top advisor I recruited over 15 years ago made the following comment last year after one of my sessions, “Tony, I view attending your sessions the same way I view going to church. I attend church not because I do not know what I need to do, but because I need to be continuously reminded what I need to do.” I found this individual’s attitude refreshing compared to that of many who attend sessions and immediately say, “I have already heard this” or “I already know this.” Whenever I hear such comments I often want to reply, “Why is it that your words say one thing, but your results say something totally different?” This caused me to question an old cliché often used in our industry — “knowledge is power” — and then pose the question, “Is knowledge truly power?”

Knowledge is power

Last year one of our former company’s marketing people returned to the office after serving at another branch for a year. When she walked through the door she created quite a stir as she looked amazing. She had lost 30 to 40 pounds, and was in great shape. It was interesting how all the staff huddled around her, asking her how she had done it. They waited intently for her to reveal her mysterious secret. Finally she unveiled her method, saying, “I eliminated all simple carbohydrates from my diet; limited most complex carbs, and started exercising more.” Although I did not want to deny her the attention she was getting, nor rob her of everyone’s awestruck looks in light of what they deemed to be revolutionary information, I could hardly keep myself from shouting, “This is nothing new! This is common knowledge! You can find this information anywhere, and if you follow it you’ll get exactly the same results!” Once again I was forced to ponder the question of whether knowledge power or simply useless matter taking up space in our already cluttered minds.

Another more positive way of looking at knowledge is as a seed laying dormant, waiting for the right environment in which to sprout and take root. I propose we change the cliché, and consider the notion that knowledge is useless until directed into action, producing the desired results. The results generated by the knowledge will be the true measure of someone’s knowledge, and the true measure of whether someone has more to learn on a subject and thus would gain by attending a session.

Knowledge is useless unless directed into action

This fresh perspective helped me gain more from my LAMP experience. It prevented me from putting up the usual barriers to learning, which come up early in a presentation whenever we think, “I have heard all this before.” The moment we have this thought, we stop learning; we give the mind permission to not focus and not discover something new. We prevent ourselves from attaining a deeper and more complete understanding of the subject.

To prevent these barriers to learning, I began to ask myself new questions. What results am I getting in this area? Are others armed with the same knowledge getting better results? Am I capable of better results, and if so, what can I discover from the speaker, from the material, or from the participants in this session in order to improve my results? What am I missing, and what must I not fully understand that is preventing me from attaining the results I want? Am I prepared and committed to doing what needs to be done in order to achieve these results? Do I need to communicate more effectively? Does my process or my technique or my perspective need to change? By asking these questions and working through this process I am optimizing my ability to learn and building an environment to maximize growth through the ideas and knowledge I am receiving.

Ultimately, our attitude is the biggest factor in our overall learning. Although the abilities of the speakers and the relevance of the material presented are very important, and are of exceptional quality at LAMP and throughout our industry generally, our attitude is the key. I know some of you reading this article are saying, “I already know that.” Be that as it may, I hope this article gives you a new perspective on an old cliché, and opens you up to continued learning and the connection between maximizing your knowledge and achieving your desired results - truly hitting your potential.


Future LAMP Dates:
March 15-18, 2015 | Marriott World Center, Orlando
March 13-16, 2016 | Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas
March 20-23, 2017 | Washington, D.C.

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