thirst for knowledge and maintaining and edge

13.07.09

It is often said that remaining vibrant (professionally) is about ‘not losing the hunger’ or ‘always learning’ or ‘always growing.’ A related line of logic is that for organizations to not lose their way in the market, they have to ‘remain agile’ or ‘to keep one’s edge’ or ‘have a startup mentality.’ It dawned on me that, with respect to the latter, what this translates to is maintaining a feeling of lack of knowledge, access, and resources and a willingness to overcome these limitations despite the fact that knowledge, access, and resources are possessed.

There is a corollary in sports. In football, the hurry-up no-huddle offense is a popular way nowadays for undersized schools to level the playing field with competitors with superior athletes. Essentially, by staying in a ‘2-minute’ offense for the entire game, a smaller, less talented team can wear out and overcome a team with superior size and talent.

This is an interesting and paradoxical phenomenon; a need to feel unknowledgeable or inadequate or lacking as a way to maintain one’s knowledge advantage and dominance. It is kind of sad, too. Is there a way to not use negative emotions to drive elite performance?

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