Knowledgeability is the cornerstone of any leader’s credibility. There are many things a leader can do to earn people’s admiration, ultimately however, genuine knowledgeability is the only characteristic that intrinsically maintains respect for a leader’s position. The moment employees feel or discover that their superiors have limited knowledge, it becomes tempting for said employees either to disregard or undermine their leadership’s authority. Even though there are situations in which a manager can’t possibly develop more technical expertise than a subordinate, it is possible for managers to demonstrate unequaled proficiency on some level that legitimizes their prerogative to lead.

Never stop learning

This is why continually working to expand knowledge is vital to effective leadership. Firstly, striving for knowledgeability enhances aptitude on an individual level. Secondly, it also creates the opportunity to empower others and thereby improve professional performance on a large scale. Business convention tends to emphasize tangible resources, such as finances or raw materials, as the most integral forms of a company’s capital. Knowledge, however, is just as indispensable a resource as any other, if not more so. Knowledgeability sparks innovation. Knowledgeability encourages progress. Knowledgeability challenges organizations to expand into new activities strategically. Without the pursuit of knowledge, people would be condemned to mediocrity in the work they do.

There are no excuses

Life in the information age makes expanding knowledge easier than it has ever been before. Virtually everyone has access to educational institutions and programs, either on-site or online. Even without academic instruction, basic research can yield substantial information that is reliable enough to develop any person’s knowledge base. It all starts with motivation. It all starts with the fundamental desire to take even the smallest initiative and improve oneself. As one good deed begets another, every bit of knowledge gained will lead to efficient and beneficial decision-making that helps everyone over time. Being tactical about gaining and applying knowledge sets the stage for meaningful self-improvement in two ways:

1. It sets the stage for Personal Improvement:

Seeking out knowledge specifically to increase individual intellect bolsters legitimacy in a leader and sharpens occupational skills. Within the professional context, managers should especially do as much as possible to learn about their companies’ products, services, competition, historic performance, industry conditions, projected output, and other such specialized operational information. Comprehensive institutional knowledge can be directly leveraged into power and influence in an organization. The more leadership understands about their business, the better positioned they are not only to oversee and guide employees but also to direct overall growth and maintain a competitive advantage.

2.It sets the stage to Empower Others:

No organization can possibly function without collaboration. Leaders need followers to carry out specific tasks, whereas followers need leaders to make critical decisions. Given this interdependent dynamic, when a leader is paired with knowledgeable followers, the overall productivity of the entire team multiplies. In addition to personally seeking out knowledge, therefore leaders should also create opportunities for their employees to gain knowledge with the aim of corresponding advancement. This creates a situation whereby a company grows in size at the same time that its workforce grows in capability.

Knowledge is a seed. A seed which when nurtured can germinate and bear fruits of empowerment and prosperity. Pursuing profit alone positions a leader to accomplish immediate goals through standard means. On the other hand, pursuing knowledge in addition to profit, positions a leader to accomplish ambitious goals through groundbreaking means. Ultimately the choice between mediocrity and excellence is yours. Join RISE Programs to learn more about how to strengthen your leadership through practical skills.