Have you ever met a person who has many qualifications, including very advanced papers or diplomas but doesn’t seem to know a lot? Even after engaging such a person over time, you cannot decipher the depth of training or learning of such a person. Scenario 2: Have you also met people who may not have many or awesome qualifications but they amaze you with their knowledge and know-how? Have you ever wondered why? Which of the two camps would you prefer to belong to?
We in the rise and shine fraternity seek to propagate the notion that candidates for success should first and foremost seek to belong to a third group – of people who have the knowledge and also the diplomas and the know-how. If by necessity, you were to have some but not all these three attributes, then seek knowledge and build on it to develop your know-how. This should now explain why so many people are educated or highly trained but they only achieve a fraction of their expected success in the work-place.
Many of us keep chasing diplomas and certificates at the expense of learning itself. A black South African friend of mine emerged 10th best debater at the World Debating Championships in 2004, while he was an Oxford PhD student majoring in Philosophy. Dr. Eusebius McKaiser had and still has a lot of interesting logical statements. When he was a student, he had a statement that was a footer on each email he wrote. It went something like “Let not your degree stand in your way to learning/education”. Many people miss this principle. A lot of people focus so much on the diploma or paper that they will get at the end of their training or learning, at the expense of the actual learning or knowledge gathering experience itself.
We in the rise and shine fraternity seek to stand different from the rest. Rise and shine fraternity resolves to seek knowledge first before a diploma or certificate can be awarded. If you arrange a free training course that does not lead to the award of any certificate, very few people will show up. But if you organise even a less important course at a high fee with some certificate at the end, a lot of people will run around looking for scholarships and funding. We are happy to seek to ‘buy’ certificates and not running around to search for knowledge – most of which can be obtained for free or at very low pricing if you are only clever at how you play your game.
This resolution is about a mind-set change if not a paradigm shift. Changing our focus from chasing papers and diplomas only to minding about what additional knowledge we amass. At the end of each year, we should worry about how much more knowledge we have gained. Even at the end of each month, week and day, we should be concerned if we do not increase our personal knowledge base. Basically, seeking new and extra knowledge should not just be an annual or monthly activity, it needs to be a daily and continuous pursuit.
‘Knowledge is power’ – we hear this many times but we rarely practice it. We do not seek knowledge enough. We should all seek knowledge as much as possible until we reach a level where we create new knowledge and add to the body of knowledge. The more you know, the better equipped you become to be able to generate your own new knowledge for addition to the world’s body of knowledge. If we know, we stand a good chance of learning the know-how, the skill. The world is so devoid of skilled and knowledgeable people. Many employers are seeking highly skilled and knowledgeable people – much more than they seek qualified people. Qualifications should only serve as endorsements, evidence and proof for what you know already. Seek that which matters most and then get the endorsement later. Good luck as you shift your focus onto seeking knowledge first! n