Having the answers means you have the KNOWLEDGE.
When you hear at knowledge the first thing that comes to mind, at least for me, is information. Knowing a lot of information is great except if it is all about something that does not matter. The biggest question here is not do you have knowledge but do you have knowledge about the right things?
Having the right knowledge leads to things. Here are the biggest of them.
- Proficiency. When you have the right set of knowledge it leads to the opportunity to be the best at what you do. When you have the knowledge you can build those around you and under you.
- Having the Answers. When you have the knowledge you have the answers. when people need answers they will come to you because you know. This will consistently grow your impact. More people have questions then we tend to think. They are just not always sure who to ask. When you make yourself available with knowledge you will gain an audience quickly.
- Teaching others. Your influence grows the more you can explain to others not only what to do but why to do it. As you grow in your knowledge and your ability to transfer that knowledge to others you will have more and more opportunities to do so.
Most likely we have all heard someone say,
If you know what to do you will always have a job, but if you know why to do it you will always be in charge.
This is important because what you know matters just as much as what you can do. Doing is a huge part of working at your job, but knowing has a bigger part in leading.
So how do I gain Knowledge?
There are a few easy ways to gain that knowledge that will position you as with proficiency so that you can have the answers as well as the teaching opportunities to impact others.
- Reading. Do not just read the stuff that is required but also find the cutting edge stuff in your field. You should be going through books on a consistent basis. Devouring these books will only serve you as your mind continues to process what needs to happen and makes available to you the opportunity to inflict change rather than be changed. If you are looking for help finding great books check out how I do it.
- Mentors. That’s right, plural. There are two main types of mentors that you can grab. The first type of mentor is the one who is just a few steps in front of you. This mentor will be of great value to you as they have just lived what you are going through. Here you want to ask them the small what ifs?, when do I’s?, and how do I’s? The small things are a large part of the conversations. However, with the second, you call big. This guy is, as Tim Ferriss says, your Ubermentor. With this mentor you are consistent discussing the big picture of where you want to go and who you want to be. Your Ubermentor should be someone who embodies your end result. Between the two mentors, your knowledge will just continue to grow.
- Questions. Simply put, if you want to be the guy everyone around you or under you asks for answers you have to be willing to find the guy above you that is that same guy. That person may or may not be your next step mentor but when you need answers you must know where to get them. This will come into play huge when you do not know the answer to someone’s question. When you know where to find it and can get back to them, you maintain the position of being the guy with answers.
If you can be the guy that has the answers you can make yourself that indispensible player on any team. Spend a few minutes and see if you can find the answers you need to have the knowledge that makes other people have to come to you to get the answers.